Mets Make an Abundance of Moves Ahead of MLB Lockout

Recapping the beginning of the Mets’ offseason


Yahoo Sports

Mets pitcher Max Scherzer.

The free agency period in Major League Baseball began a day after the Atlanta Braves defeated the Houston Astros in the 2021 World Series. After a disappointing season, in which the Mets spent 103 days in first place, the New York team ultimately ended up in third place in the National League East when the season concluded. No team in Major League history has ever spent as many days as the Mets did in first place and ended up finishing the season with a losing record. After another season ending in disappointment, the Mets took this as a sign to make early splashes in free agency.



After five consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs, the Mets looked to shake things up with both their front office and in-house free agents. A former fan favorite, Noah “Thor” Syndergaard signed a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels after spending six years with the Mets. Syndergaard missed all of the 2020 season and only pitched in two games throughout the 2021 season after coming off Tommy John surgery. Other offseason departures include SP Marcus Stroman (Chicago Cubs) and RP Aaron Loup (Angels), who both had the best years of their career last year (click here for stats). Mets trade deadline acquisition, Javier Baez, signed a six-year contract with the Detroit Tigers. Along with many free agents departing, the Mets fired their manager, Luis Rojas, after two years upon the ending of the 2021 season.



The Mets added Billy Eppler as the team’s next General Manager. Eppler and the owner, Steve Cohen, have already made an abundance of moves in free agency. Eppler brought in outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte, while also bringing in infielder Eduardo Escobar all in one night. 

In past years, the Mets have made some pretty terrible signings. “I am weary though,” said chemistry teacher Kevin Hughes, adding, “I remember Bobby Bonilla.” Yet Hughes believes, “Steve Cohen has reinvigorated the Mets team.” 

Amongst the free agent signings, Canha spent the last seven years with the Oakland Athletics until he signed a two year contract for 26 million dollars with the Mets. Marte, who spent last season with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics signed with the Mets at midnight on a four year 78 million dollar contract. Escobar was an All-Star last year who spent his time with the Arizona DiamondBacks and Milwaukee Brewers, he was signed for two years 20 million. 

After those signings, the Mets shifted their interest to the best pitchers on the market. On December 1, the Mets officially signed Max Scherzer to a three year contract worth 43 million per year, leaving the team with undoubtedly the best pitching duo in the major leagues right now with DeGrom and Scherzer at the front lines of the Mets rotation. Sophomore Michael Greenberg loves the pickups: “Since coming into office, Cohen has come through. His mindset of buying everyone is awesome, and as a fan, it’s nice to see an owner that actually cares for his team,” he said. 


Lockout & Managerial Hires

Unfortunately, further transactions cannot be processed until the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLB reach an agreement on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which is forcing a lockout that began December 2. The lockout is expected to take months. Until an agreement is reached, players cannot be signed, however, management hires are allowed. The Mets were in need of a manager headed into the lockout and signed experienced manager Buck Showalter on Saturday, December 18. English teacher Brook Zelcer, longtime Mets fan, said, “He’s incredibly knowledgeable about baseball and knows how to run a team.” Showalter formerly managed in New York with the Yankees before heading to the Rangers, Diamondbacks, and Orioles. This is an amazin’ beginning to the offseason for the Mets, highlighted by many marquee free agent signings, long awaited coaching hires, and significant changes to the front office.