The free agency period in baseball kicked off last night, and the New York Mets figure to be busy. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen made it clear earlier this week that they plan to be in on nearly every free agent, and that makes sense to help accomplish his goal of winning right now. One thing to keep in mind is that several top free agents received qualifying offers from their previous teams, and the Mets have been hesitant to bid on free agents with the qualifying offer in the past. Signing a player who has declined a qualifying offer costs their new team a draft pick, something the Mets have only done once, when they forfeited their 2015 first round pick to add Michael Cuddyer.
Sep 26, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) hits a three run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Seven players have received a qualifying offer according to FanCred’s Jon Heyman: starting pitcher Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock (from the Arizona Diamondbacks), starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and catcher Yasmani Grandal (from the Los Angeles Dodgers), closer Craig Kimbrel (from the Boston Red Sox), starter Dallas Keuchel (from the Houston Astros), and outfielder Bryce Harper (from the Washington Nationals). The two notables here are Pollock and Grandal, both of whom have been linked to the Mets in rumors.
The fact that those two have received qualifying offers may dissuade the Mets from pursuing them, especially when neither of them is a slam dunk option for the team. The Mets could pursue Wilson Ramos behind the plate or try trading for J.T. Realmuto, while Adam Jones and Jon Jay could be more cost effective options in center field. It is worth noting that several players who could make sense for the Mets, including relievers like Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, did not receive the qualifying offer.