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Carlos Correa Better Option For Mets Than Kris Bryant

This offseason, the New York Mets have a number of holes to fill in free agency. Chief among them is third base as the Mets have not had a third baseman since 2014 when David Wright was yet to be diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Since then, the Mets have better filling around the edges and singing players like Todd Frazier, who struggled to stay on the field.

Looking at the free agent landscape, it appears the two best options are going to be Carlos Correa and Kris Bryant. While Correa is a shortstop, he has indicated his willingness to change positions like Alex Rodriguez once did. With that being the case, Correa instantly becomes the top third base option available.

Correa just turned 27, and he is on pace to have his best ever season as a Major Leaguer. Currently, he has a 6.9 WAR, and he should meet or surpass the 7.0 he had in 2016. Notably, with Correa having three seasons of 6.7 WAR or  better, we are talking about a future Hall of Famer.

The reason is Correa does not have a real hole in his game. This year, he has a 135 wRC+. This will mark the fourth time in his seven year career he has had a 135 wRC+ or better. Putting aside the 60 game 2020, he has always been above league average at the plate, and only one time has he registered a wRC+ below 123.

In the field, Correa is a great defensive shortstop. After his struggles in his rookie season, Correa has a a 47 OAA and a 62 DRS at shortstop. That puts him at a Gold Glove level at the position.

All told, Correa is a Silver Slugger level hitter at the plate and a Gold Glover in the field. He could be a right-handed balance to the Mets heavy left-handed hitting lineup, solve the eternal third base woes, and add yet another MVP caliber player to the roster.

Despite all of that, many are hand wringing over the likelihood Correa would have a qualifying offer attached thereby putting the Mets in a position to forfeit a first round pick. In the alternative, they suggest Kris Bryant.

Unlike Correa, Bryant has actually won an MVP award, and like Bryant, he has a World Series ring. While the Mets would be better for adding Bryant, he is not the same caliber of player as Correa, and he probably doesn’t solve the Mets third base question.

After being traded to the San Francisco Giants, Bryant has split time between third base and the outfield. That is much akin to what he did in Chicago. Part of the reason is Bryant is a versatile player which is a bonus. However, it is also the result of his not being a very good third baseman.

Since 2017, Bryant has not posted a positive OAA at third accumulating a -9 OAA. Over that time, he also has a -2 DRS. In the outfield, he has posted better numbers in left field with a 2 OAA and a 6 DRS. Looking at the numbers and the trajectory, you could argue Bryant is really a LF at this point in his career.

Now, you could try him at third for a while, especially if your confident in your shifting, but Bryant doesn’t quite have the bat he used to have which allowed him to offset his poor defense. Keep in mind, he is still a terrific hitter, just now the 144 wRC+ he was over the first three years of his career. In fact, since 2018, Bryant has been a 126 wRC+ hitter.

That is largely why we have seen Bryant fall from being an MVP caliber player to being “merely” an All-Star caliber player. After posting an 18.3 WAR over his first three seasons, Bryant has posted a 10.5 WAR over his next four seasons (with the 2020 season caveat). While Bryant has had strong seasons, and he has a 3.3 WAR so far this year, he’s just not the caliber of player Correa has.

We should note that disparity is likely only going to grow. Next year, Correa will be 27, and Bryant will be 30. Bryant is nearing the end of his prime as Correa is just entering it. As a result, you are likely going to get far better production from Correa over the course of their respective contracts. Indeed, Correa is better now and will very likely remain better.

If you’re a Mets team with not much help on the way from the minors and the impending free agency of players like Carlos Carrasco, Jacob deGrom (player option), Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Taijuan Walker coupled with Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith being arbitration eligible, you are a franchise very much set on expanding this window. That goes double with Javier Baez, Michael Conforto, Aaron Loup, Marcus Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard as free agents this offseason.

This is a Mets team which needs to focus on winning in 2022 or tearing it down to rebuild. If you are really focused on winning now, Correa is the far better option than Bryant regardless of the qualifying offer being attached. The Mets should not be overthinking it. Go get the far better player and make this Mets roster the best it can possibly be.

14 thoughts on “Carlos Correa Better Option For Mets Than Kris Bryant”

  1. Longtimefan1 says:

    Kris Bryant isn’t coming to the Mets who are such a joke. He loves the Giants, says he loves the relationships he’s built, and how the team is run. He’s perfect for the Giants long term.

    Correa’s willing to move to third base, but really we don’t need him there. Initially I thought if he’s willing to move to move to an outfield corner that would fit, or even second if Mets don’t extend Baez.

    His foot speed however keeps declining. He’s now 26.9 feet per second after breaking in at 28.3. He’s only had 9 bolts in his career. He’s only 27 and it keeps dropping from a comfortably above average starting point which is rather concerning. I think Mets should spend their money elsewhere and turn to homegrown long term at third.

    Vientos and Baty could debut in 2022, Mauricio who will need to be transitioned to other positions starting this offseason or in AA next year. He could or should be ready for the major at some point in 2023

    Between Vientos, Baty, and Mauricio, Mets should have third base covered long term. There could be mix and match, DH, outfield coverage, Mauricio possible super utility with power to ensure all have Mets future with plenty playing time. Between the three, one left hand hitter, one right, and one switch hit. One first rounder, one second, and one well thought international signing.

    Mauricio has the biggest defensive upside. With proper training he should develop above average foot speed despite being signed and playing with below. Those long legs, and athleticism, need to be honed for increased speed.

    Vientos is the closest to ready. 6’4′, 21 y.o., has grown into his body with perhaps more to come. Big power, compact, quick, level swing, uses whole field, makes hard contact, might best fit as DH because of slow wheels and Baty currently viewed as the better defensive third baseman. Time will reveal improvement. These three are tall and lean., fit. Two of the three are MLB Top 100’s. Vientos should become one with their next update.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Stop it. You don’t pass up on a Hall of Famer in his prime like Correa because you have some promising prospects who may or may not stick at the position.

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Yes you do when this team should be spending on pitching, have already signed a very expensive shortstop, could extend the power hitting , speedy, hard nosed Baez, and need two corner outfielders if Conforto’s not returning, and one if he is.

    And whether Carlos Correa is destined for the Hall of Fame is to be determined in time, in his 30’s.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Please, the Wilpons are gone. There’s no need to continue operating the team in the dumb fashion they did.

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Dumb would be spending like drunken sailors on a bunch of $200-400 mil+ plus players without regard to length and dollars committed, and how that quashes future flexibility.

    The way to win is through steady feed of homegrowns supplemented with outside acquisitions.

    The Mets have too many holes in the farm and big league team ito pass on in-house talent groomed as potential solutions in one area of need.

    It’s Steve Cohen who said he’s not going to spend like drunken sailor.

    To that end, he’s reportedly keeping Sandy Alderson at the top of the heap running things.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Wilpons really scarred you if you believe this

  4. KyleW says:

    Correa has never played a single inning at third bases in the majors. He has never played a single inning at third base in the minors. Third base is very different from other IF positions, Jeff McNeil disaster there should have shown us all that.

    To pay him a deal that an elite shortstop will get to place him at the less valuable third base as an experiment would be moronic. Plus it guarantees a future with two IFers at Age 34, 35, 36 making 30 mil and headed for the IL half the year.

    I’d love Correa at SS if we could trade Lindor. Any teams going to take that brilliant contract? How about that contract and send 100 mil, making it 10/241. You couldn’t even sell it there. That is how bad that contract is.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Try again, but this time don’t write outright falsehoods

  5. Joe Gomes says:

    First of all, when Cohen bought the Mets, they were on a 3 to 5 year plan to win the WS. That means that you don’t just spend money on very expensive players at every position.

    The Mets do need to bring up players from within, otherwise, what’s the point of wasting so much time developing these players? How else do the Mets save money for other needs?

    Take a look at why the Mets failed this year. Pitching, BP and a bunch of players that can’t hit with RISP.

    Spend the money on players that are grinders, that can steal bases and are good defensibly and stay away from players who disappear for long periods of time like Conforto.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      The Mets failed because they entered the year without a third baseman, left fielder, and pitching depth.

      They’re still in that position with two starters and their RF hitting free agency.

      There’s no one coming through the pipeline to fill those roles. And that’s before everyone eise hits free agency after 2022.

      But sure, a thin farm can win a World Series in the next four years without significant free agent investments.

  6. TheGhostofKelenic says:

    We would be stupid to sign a 3b with 2 excellent prospects who could play 3b nearing the show. You can’t have 30 million dollar players at every position and that’s what Bryant and Correa will require.
    Starting pitching MUST be addressed first and foremost. Peterson, Megill Cookie and now Walker are all huge question marks. Stroman is going to get huge offers from multiple teams. I see Syndergaard getting out of this sinking ship too. Don’t be surprised if he’s a Cardinal next year.
    The truth is this team has 3 good players. Nimmo, Alonso and Jake. That’s it.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      That’s simply not true, especially when you don t know if they can stick at the position.

      That’s what rebuilding teams do. The Mets aren’t rebuilding

  7. TheGhostofKelenic says:

    There’s too many holes to fill to get another big money guy at 3rd. Get Villar for another year and go after pitching. Some players need to move too. I don’t know where Dom fits and don’t forget Cano is back…..

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Third base is a massive hole

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