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Top 10 bargain MLB free agency deals for Mets and Yankees for 2022-23 offseason

Cody Bellinger, Mitch Haniger, and Jose Quintana

Cody Bellinger, Mitch Haniger, and Jose Quintana / USA TODAY Sports/SNY Treated Image

For the Mets and Yankees, free agency this offseason is primarily about the high price of superstars, as they try to re-sign Jacob deGrom and Aaron Judge, respectively.

But there is also the potential for some significant lower-profile signings this winter, which could be important to both teams, especially if they have to dig deep to keep their own guys.

And so to celebrate Black Friday, if you will, here are my Top 10 Bargains-To-Be in this free agent class. Not all of these players will come cheap but they’re all a long way from the deGrom/Judge shopping aisle.

1) CODY BELLINGER

If the Mets fail to re-sign Brandon Nimmo, taking a shot with Bellinger might be worth their while, especially since his agent, Scott Boras, has indicated a preference to sign a one-year deal to rebuild the former NL MVP’s value.

Bellinger’s offense has fallen off dramatically since undergoing surgery on his right shoulder after the Dodgers’ 2020 championship season, resulting in LA non-tendering him last week. Boras contends it’s still a matter of rebuilding strength in the shoulder, and Bellinger did hit 19 HRs last season, though he hit only .210. At age 28 he’s a very good center fielder and stole 14 bases as well.

2) MITCH HANIGER

Haniger could be a gamble worth taking for either the Mets or Yankees, especially if Judge or Nimmo signs elsewhere and they need a starting outfielder. Haniger hit 39 home runs in 2021 for the Seattle Mariners, but a back injury (and a bout with Covid) limited him to 57 games in 2022, lowering his value while also adding risk to signing him.

Soon to be 32, Haniger could be slotted in to right field if the Mets need to move Starling Marte to center, or otherwise he could provide outfield depth and some pop in the DH spot, depending what the plans are for rookie Francisco Alvarez. Likewise, he’d fit nicely in right field in the Bronx if Judge leaves.

3) JOSE QUINTANA

A borderline elite starting pitcher in his 20s, Quintana had slipped into journeyman mode in recent years, but then figured something out in 2021 at age 33 and produced a very strong season, pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.

Perhaps most significant, the left-hander excelled in pennant-race baseball for the Cardinals after coming over in a trade, going 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA in 12 starts, allowing just one home run. Scouts say his ability to command four…

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