#Mets #spending #spree #adds #pressure #win
The only thing the Mets bought with their offseason spending spree was pressure to win a World Series in 2023.
The deal with Carlos Correa in particular is worth examining. Whether it pays off could determine if the money spent ends up buying the organization anything more.
Correa experienced a whirlwind couple of days after it appeared as though he was heading to San Francisco. A snag in his physical nixed that deal and the Mets swooped in for their second major free agent signing this offseason.
On Dec. 7, New York agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract with pitcher Justin Verlander. Correa, 28, signed with New York on a 12-year, $315 million contract on Dec. 21.
Per Baseball-Reference, Correa’s defensive wins above replacement (1.1) was tied for the second-worst in his career. Data shows his best dWAR season was in 2021, so it’s possible he’s due for positive regression somewhere between the two.
Doubt rises from the fact Correa will switch to third base, a position he’s never played in eight seasons. The team is set at shortstop with Francisco Lindor, but Correa’s willingness to move to third reveals his confidence the move will be seamless.
There’s reason to anticipate the stitching will reveal itself. Alex Rodriguez, for example, made the move to third base from shortstop when he moved to the New York Yankees and his fielding percentage took a hit.
During his last season as a full-time shortstop in Texas, Rodriguez’s fielding percentage was .989. When he made the move to third base for the 2004 season, his fielding percentage dipped to .965.
How quickly Correa makes the transition will be key to his massive deal paying off with a World Series win. With the $86.6 million attached to Max Scherzer, 38, and Justin Verlander, 39, next season, there isn’t much time to wait.
Based on past mega free agent deals, that could lead to disappointment.
Per MLB.com, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Corey Seager all signed contracts that are among the ten largest in MLB free agency history.
Harper and Machado are worth every penny of their current deals, but success at their current homes wasn’t instant. Both players’ batting averages in their first year dipped below their career averages.
Harper’s average was .260 compared to a career batting average of .280, and Machado’s was .256. For his career, Machado has a .282 batting average.
This past season, Corey Seager had a .245 batting average in his first season with the Texas Rangers, well below his career average (.287).
Correa’s 2022 season gives reason for some hope that the trend won’t follow him to New York. In his lone season in Minnesota, had a .291 batting average, the second-highest of his career.
He will certainly need to do more than what current projections by Fan Graphs suggest is in store for him in 2023. Correa is projected to have a .266 batting average with 24 home runs and 85 RBI.
The home run total would pale in comparison to even what Harper (35 HRs), Seager (33), and Machado (32) were able to accomplish in their first seasons after signing big deals. Of course, Correa’s career-high in home runs is 26, so reaching 30 would be a stretch.
The Mets believing all this money will lead to a championship this upcoming season may be the biggest leap of all.