Mets Non-Tender Candidates For the 2018-19 Offseason
With the Red Sox winning the 2018 World Series, the MLB offseason is officially underway. Free Agency has begun, and arbitration hearings will start soon. The Mets have three players they can non-tender after this process, and make them a free agent. These three players are pitcher Rafael Montero, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, and infielder Wilmer Flores. Each player has their own case if they should or should not be back with the Mets in 2019.
Non-Tender Candidate #1: Rafael Montero, Pitcher
Due to UCL damage in his elbow, Montero missed all of 2018. Thought to be one of the Mets top pitching prospects, Montero never lived up to the hype when he was with the MLB team. He posted an ERA of 5.58 with a record of 6-16. He also had 189 strikeouts in 192 1/3 innings pitched at the Major League level. However, Montero cleared waivers with the Mets and became a free agent. The Mets could not justify paying for a starting pitcher that had troubles with health and pitching at the MLB level.
Non-Tender Candidate #2: Travis d’Arnaud, Catcher
d’Arnaud missed almost all of 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery. He was sharing time behind the plate with Kevin Plawecki before the injury. Before the surgery, d’Arnaud hit just .200 with one homer, and three RBIs over four games. Due to his inconsistent production over his time with the Mets, it might be time for them to move on from d’Arnaud. Though he has been productive at times, it seems too illogical for the Mets to keep him without knowing fully what they are getting. They could very well keep d’Arnaud, and continue to platoon him with Plawecki. But with a very slim catching market, the Mets might stick with what they got. This is considering that almost every MLB team will be in on J.T. Realmuto, the top catcher on the market this offseason.
Non-Tender Candidate #3: Wilmer Flores, Infielder
After the latest injury to Flores’s knees, it seems more and more likely the Mets will non-tender one of the most popular Mets on the current roster. Offensively, Flores was one of the most consistent hitters for the Mets this year. He hit .267 with 11 homers and 51 RBIs. After 126 games all over the infield this year, the Mets simply may not have the room for Flores. With so many young and talented players coming up from the minors, Flores would play no more than a bench-player role for the team with some occasional starts on the field. Mets fans would love to keep him in the orange and blue, however, this may be one of the tougher decisions for the Mets front office this winter.
It should an interesting offseason for the Mets front office. With a new GM at the helm and so many needs to address, the fans will pay close attention to how every move shakes out. Fans would love to see d’Arnaud and Flores back with the team in 2019, but the front office may see a different vision for the team. We’ll see how the 2018-19 offseason plays out for the Mets.
Photo Credit to Michael Baron via Flickr