The Mets may have struck out on some big-name free agents like Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto and George Springer, but one of the greatest players in franchise history still gives the team an A+ for their offseason moves.
Keith Hernandez joined Moose & Maggie on Tuesday to talk about the Mets’ upcoming season, and wasn’t shy when assessing the moves the team made in its first winter under new ownership with Steve Cohen.
“They did spend,” Hernandez said. “They spent close to $100 million over the offseason. To me, this has been the greatest offseason the Mets have had in my memory, as far as addressing the needs of their roster. This ballclub is solid.”
While the Mets didn’t land one of the league’s most coveted free agents, they still brought in a superstar in Francisco Lindor, giving New York one of the best shortstops in the league and one of the top overall position players to bolster its infield.
“To me it was the steal of the whole offseason,” Hernandez said of the Lindor trade. “It was a big steal to get [Carlos] Carrasco with that.”
With the acquisition of Lindor and the signing of catcher James McCann, Hernandez believes the Mets have strengthened the most important part of the team heading into a 2021 season where New York expects to compete for its first division title since 2015.
“The old saying is you have to be strong up the middle,” Hernandez said. “That’s your two middle infielders, your center fielder and your catcher. They addressed two of those with Lindor and [McCann].”
The bullpen was also an area that had to be addressed, after the Mets’ relief core ranked near the bottom of the league in total WAR over the past two seasons, and adding arms like Aaron Loup and Trevor May could turn a weakness into a strength this season, especially if returning arms like Edwin Diaz and Dellin Betances can return to their level of productivity that they enjoyed before coming to Queens.
“I was really concerned with left handers in the bullpen, and they went out and got some veteran left handers,” Hernandez said. “The bullpen is definitely beefed up.
There’s no doubt about it.”
Mets fans likely would have liked to see a big free agent splash to mark the beginning of the Cohen era, but with Lindor leading the way, Hernandez believes this Mets team could be the best the franchise has had since reaching the World Series in 2015.
“I think the Mets just had a phenomenal offseason,” Hernandez said. “They not only addressed their issues on the roster at the major league level, but also the Triple-A level, which was depleted. They really added a lot of depth.”
Listen to Hernandez’s full interview with Moose & Maggie below!