There were several free agents, if the Mets had the willingness and/or ability to pay, that could have improved them to the point where it could be a competitive summer.
And, I’m not talking about big-ticket players Josh Hamilton, Nick Swisher, B.J. Upton, Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson and Rafael Soriano. The Mets were never going to be players for them, anyhow.
The Mets were beaten out by some notorious small market or small spending teams such as Pittsburgh (Jason Grilli, Russell Martin and Francisco Liriano), Tampa Bay (James Loney and Joel Peralta), Minnesota (Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey), Cleveland (Swisher and Mark Reynolds), Baltimore (McLouth), Arizona (Brandon McCarthy and Cody Ross), Kansas City (Jeremy Guthrie).
I’d include Oakland, but Bartolo Colon? Really?
However, Michael Bourn, Matt Capps, Jonny Gomes, Dan Haren, Nate Schierholtz, Nate McLouth and John Lannan could have given life to the Mets. And, none from this latter group who were signed received a package of greater than $13 million.
Perhaps, two or three – a pitcher and outfielder – could have impacted the dynamics and attitude of the roster and given the Mets something to build on during spring training.
Much of who is left are broken down (Grady Sizemore), older (Kevin Millwood), potentially too expensive (Carl Pavano or ex-Mets (Xavier Nady, Francisco Rodriguez, Ronny Cedeno, Jon Rauch, Endy Chavez and Kelly Shoppach).
Others, such as Brad Penny, Shaun Marcum or Derek Lowe won’t make enough of a difference.
There’s always next winter for extravagant spending.