Today is the day that MLB free agents can begin negotiating and signing with teams. Including Johan Santana, whose option for next year was not picked up, the New York Mets have eight free agents in total, and they have zero reason to re-sign any of them.
Five of the eight free agents are relief pitchers, and while there are members of the Mets’ bullpen that should return next season, none of these free agents are among them. LaTroy Hawkins would probably be the most useful as he could provide a good veteran presence, but there are plenty of other reasons why the Mets should let him go. David Aardsma may garner some consideration, but considering how inconsistent relief pitching is from year to year, he’s not someone the Mets should guarantee a spot in their bullpen to.
Lefty relievers Pedro Feliciano and Tim Byrdak are too old for the Mets to rely on any longer even though both have done well to work their way back from injury. Despite having good relations and fond memories of both pitchers it’s time for the Mets to forget about those two guys, as is the case with Frank Francisco whose signing is easily one of the worst decisions made by general manager Sandy Alderson during his time in New York.
Starting pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang, both of whom the Mets signed late in the season as placeholders, are two more guys the Mets shouldn’t give much consideration to bring back next season. The Mets will have a couple of empty rotation spots, but they’re going to need to do better than a couple guys they pulled off the scrap heap in September. Santana may actually be the most intriguing of the Mets’ free agents; however, they should only bring him back under the right circumstances, and such a scenario may not be realistic.
Ultimately, the Mets have far more important priorities this offseason than re-signing any of the eight players they just freed themselves of on their overcrowded roster. There should be significant roster turnover coming this offseason, and none of these eight free agents should be among the players that get to stay.