The New York Mets just released the names of three average free agent signings that deserve an extreme re-grade.

There were some extreme opinions about the New York Mets this offseason. A much more underwhelming group brought in through free agency than we saw in recent seasons, it was easy to get caught up in thinking the club wouldn’t be that good.

In actuality, they’re somewhere in the middle. They’re a few lucky bounces or unfortunate runs away from either being buried in the playoff race or being awarded a chance to play deep into October.

In the days leading up to the start of the regular season, all fans have their thoughts as to what grade certain moves deserve. Now about 25% into the season already, these three free agent signings already deserve a much different grade than they originally had.

1) Jorge Lopez

Signed for just $2 million, the Mets were taking a bit of a chance on Jorge Lopez. By far best known as the All-Star closer no one saw coming for the Baltimore Orioles in 2022, he has been average or worse in so many other seasons of his career. Even after the miraculous All-Star performance for the Orioles two seasons ago, Lopez reverted back to his old ways immediately after getting traded to the Minnesota Twins. His ERA jumped from 1.68 to 4.37. In 2023, it was at 5.95 which isn’t all that much worse than where he has been for his entire career.

The Lopez signing took place early in the offseason. As affordable as it was, the roster spot and $2 million could’ve been better used elsewhere. Or so it seemed.

Old Grade: C-

The ability to DFA Lopez if things didn’t work out without much of a financial burden like they did with Michael Tonkin twice had this as an acceptable offseason signing. However, Lopez hasn’t just been a mound-filler. He has been an important part of the bullpen.

Lopez is one of the few pitchers who hasn’t won or lost a game. Yet he leads the relievers in appearances by a good margin with 21 games. It’s five more than Edwin Diaz, Adam Ottavino, and Jake Diekman who’ve each appeared in 16.

Lopez hasn’t been a major strikeout pitcher but with zero home runs allowed this year, we get a good understanding of what has made him so useful.

New Grade: A

Rising Apple


3 average Mets free agent signings that deserve an extreme re-grade

By Tim Boyle | 6:00 AM EDT

Apr 8, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) pitches against

Apr 8, 2024; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jorge Lopez (52) pitches against / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


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2) Joey Wendle

Unfortunately, not many of the Mets free agent signings have seen their grade improve. Luis Severino and Sean Manaea have been good but the grade change doesn’t seem so drastic. They go from what, a C up to a B+ or so?

On the other hand, the free agent signing of Joey Wendle has dropped off much more than anticipated. His numbers aren’t disastrous. It’s his failure to do the little things well like play defense or even get down a sacrifice bunt that has aggravated the fans.

Signed for just $2 million this offseason, he seemed like a decent pickup. In a lesser role, he appeared to be a solid upgrade over Luis Guillorme. The Mets could turn to him for help at any infield position. What was there to really dislike about it?

Old Grade: C+

The doubts began early when before the year even began the Wendle contract looked like an overpay. Gio Urshela got $500K less to sign with the Detroit Tigers. A far better fit for the Mets, it didn’t take long for Wendle’s performance to match those same doubts.

Any of the numbers Wendle does have feel a bit hollow considering how badly he has missed on defense at times. His two error game felt like the final straw for most fans. The front office didn’t disagree. Needing some sort of spark in the offense, they designated him for assignment on May 14.

Wendle will head into DFA limbo with a .222/.243/.250 slash line and 3 errors in only a small number of games. Temporarily, the Mets will choose to have no middle infield backup than him.

New Grade: D-

3) Shintaro Fujinami

Has there ever been a player who achieved so little the year prior in the majors to come to the Mets with as much hype as Shintaro Fujinami? Citing past success overseas, many bought into what Fujinami could become.

Paid just over $3 million, he was another affordable signing. A smart one because of the added bonus of having minor league options, it would allow the roster some flexibility. If Fujinami struggled a little bit, they could always send him down.

Old Grade: C

Fujinami did struggle. Mostly it was with finding the strike zone. He failed to make the roster out of camp and has been a dud in the minors to begin the season.

Fujinami recently landed on the IL. His 14.09 ERA in 7.2 innings is atrociously bad but no match for the 17 walks allowed. Add in 2 hit batters and 4 wild pitches, it’s easy to regrade this deal. The amazing thing is it’s the most expensive one of all from this list.

Unfortunately, the Mets might’ve spent more time hyping up Fujinami than the length he’ll spend on the active roster. Recalled only so they could have the option of placing him onto their 60-day IL to open up a roster spot, this is the biggest free agent bust of the Mets winter and it’s not even close.

New Grade: F

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