Mets ‘Monitoring’ World Series Champion, Urged to Offer $115 Million Deal

Steven Cohen

Getty New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has been willing to spend top dollar on starting pitchers.

The New York Mets seem caught between an interest in adding players who can win in the near future and holding off on expensive acquisitions until their payroll clears up. 

The more than $45 million the team will be paying this season for Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, two players who aren’t on their roster, would suggest that shelling out for another top free-agent arm before the season gets underway would be a mistake. But Joel Sherman of the New York Post thinks otherwise, urging the Mets to offer top dollar for reigning World Series champion Jordan Montgomery.

“I would argue that signing Montgomery can enhance (the Mets’) plan,” Sherman wrote. “I do think the Mets should stretch to, say, five years at $115 million with an opt-out after three years and see if any club beats that.”

Sherman added that the team’s plan as he sees it is to “win now but not at the expense of clogging future payroll or rosters” and that the team is “definitely monitoring” Montgomery’s asking price.

How Would Jordan Montgomery Fit into New York Mets’ Plans?

After a massive spending spree that saw the team take on one of the highest payrolls in baseball, the Mets disappointed with a 75-87 record in 2023. 

Star reliever Edwin Díaz missed the season after suffering an injury while celebrating at the World Baseball Classic, Scherzer and Verlander struggled on the field before being traded midseason and their aging bats saw declines at the plate.

The team brought in a new president of baseball operations, David Stearns, shortly after the season ended to right the ship. And now the team seems to be straddling its payroll limitations with a continued commitment to compete for a World Series in the near future.

As a durable, 31-year-old starter who pitched for a 2.90 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 31 postseason innings with the Texas Rangers last year, Montgomery might fit into that plan. On a multi-year deal, he would likely join Kodai Senga at the top of the rotation for the next few seasons and could lead a legitimate playoff pitching staff.

“A healthy Senga/Montgomery combo would be a cornerstone to try to make the playoffs this year and to build around going forward,” Sherman wrote. “And one more item with Montgomery: He could not be made the qualifying offer, so there is no draft pick compensation tied to him; another element that does not disrupt the Mets’ big-picture plans.”

How Would Adding Jordan Montgomery Impact the New York Mets’ Plans for Pete Alonso?

Perhaps more so than any remaining free agent, even Montgomery, the Mets’ plans for a player on its current roster will have the biggest impact on the team’s near future.

Homegrown slugger Pete Alonso faces unrestricted free agency at the end of this season, and projects to earn a salary in the nine-year, $300 million range. The decision to bring Alonso back or let him leave for a better offer elsewhere would speak volumes about Stearns’ outlook for the near future of the team.

“With Alonso potentially commanding $300 million on the open market, Mets fans are understandably anxious,” Jesse Yomtov reported for USA Today. “Ultimately, Alonso’s future is going to be a cloud hanging over the Mets’ 2024 season.”

Offering a long-term deal to Montgomery could be a sign that the Mets are willing to invest in older stars, even with their recent payroll troubles, in an effort to make a deep playoff run in the near future. 

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