It’s crazy to think that we sit here over a week into February, only a few days away from pitchers and catchers, and we still have this many notable free agents. The free agents will have a spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida waiting for them next week.
The concern of a late start to the season more than concerns a few teams, but they hope their deals turn out of the Nelson Cruz fashion, who famously penned a one-year, $8 million contract on Feb. 24 with the Orioles just a few years ago.
Ultimately, there’s a lot of talent on the market right now. What could be made of the current free agent market? A potential playoff team seems to be what is left out there right now. Here’s a look at what a team made up of current free agents looks like. Let’s call these guys the “Montreal Ex-Pros.”
Here they are, your Montreal Ex-Pros:
The obvious strong suit of this team would be it’s starting pitching. Topped by Darvish and Arrieta, that’s about as good of a number 1-2 punch currently in the major leagues. The inclusion of Cobb and Lynn solidifies the rotation in excellent fashion, and Garcia is definitely a fine anchor to a rotation.
The most glaring weakness on this team would be its defense. The DRS around the lineup at their given positions in 2017 would be: -7 Hosmer; -5 Walker, -8 Moustakas; -5 Nuñez (in just 123 innings); -5 Martinez; +10 Dyson; and -1 Gomez. Not the brightest outlook, but you’d hope their bats and pitching could outdo the negative value there.
The bullpen is lead by a strong closer in Holland, who reportedly turned down a 3/52 deal to return as the Rockies closer earlier this offseason. While taking a step back last year, his hit/miss profile is still of high quality. At age 32, and with declining speed 3 years in a row, he may be a concern going forward.
Given how hot the relief market was this year, I find it surprising that I was able to fill out an entirely respectable bullpen with a few lefties in it. There’s no doubt these guys will all find teams, but it may happen after a few injuries, or some non-roster invites fail in their spring outings.
As you can see there is definitely enough pitching depth here for the Mets to dip into that market late and still improve on the depth of what they currently have.
I was going to try to rationally predict the estimated value of such a team, but given the volatile nature of this offseason, and its surprised high and lows, I don’t think that’s very possible. A low to reasonable estimate would probably sit somewhere around 180 million. That would put them third in the league in payroll behind only the Giants and Redsox (according to sportrac.com).