Mets Linked to Silver Slugger Winner Projected to Sign $286 Million Deal

carlos mendoza

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The New York Mets are entering 2024 not knowing what kind of production they’ll be getting at third base. If that question isn’t adequately answered this season, could president of baseball operations David Stearns chase after Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in free agency?

Joel Sherman of the New York Post thinks this is a possibility. As long as Bregman and Houston don’t agree to a long-term extension before he hits the open market, of course. A lot of attention is already on the Mets and New York Yankees preparing to compete for outfielder Juan Soto next winter. According to Sherman, that will just be one of multiple competitions between both New York teams. He thinks the Bombers will also be interested in Bregman if he becomes available.

Bregman is about to begin the final season of a five-year, $100 million contract. He’s won a Silver Slugger Award and two World Series titles. He’s also appeared in the top 25 of American League MVP Award voting four times. Bregman, another Scott Boras client, has an annual market value of $31.7 million, per Spotrac. They’re projecting a nine-year, $286 million deal for him.

A Look at the Mets’ Current Situation at 3rd Base

When taking a peek at New York’s 2024 lineup, it’s clear that third base is the biggest question mark. Stearns had an opportunity to supplement this area of the roster during the offseason. The Mets were linked to veterans Justin Turner and Gio Urshela before they signed with the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, respectively.

But even when Ronny Mauricio was lost for the year after tearing his ACL during a Dominican Winter League game, no major external additions were made. Veteran Joey Wendle was signed to be depth around the infield. The Mets’ biggest hope is that one of their young players — Brett Baty or Mark Vientos — runs with the opportunity of consistent playing time.

Vientos’ big-league chance will likely come as New York’s designated hitter. So, the club will see if Baty can take a step forward after a rough 2023. During his age-23 campaign, Baty hit .212/.275/.323 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 389 plate appearances.

Will Bregman Be Part of a Huge Mets Spending Spree Next Winter?

Stearns was busy making roster additions this winter, but his moves didn’t grab headlines like New York has done in the two offseasons prior. Starting pitcher Sean Manaea’s two-year, $28 million deal was the only multi-year agreement the Mets handed out.

This could just be a one-year respite from making big splashes, though. First baseman Pete Alonso seems destined to hit free agency at season’s end, and the Mets have been open about wanting to eventually retain him. And then there’s the Soto sweepstakes. There’s a belief among some around the game that team owner Steve Cohen would green-light the organization trying to land both players, which would likely cost at least $700 million.

Would they pull a page out of the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ book and spend upwards of $1 billion? It likely depends on how the team performs in 2024. If they think they’re close to being a true World Series contender, it wouldn’t be a shocking move.

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