The Mets underperformed all expectations in 2021, while missing the playoffs and finishing with a losing record. At the start of the offseason, Steve Cohen brought in a new GM and manager in hopes of rectifying this ball club. Buck Showalter was added to change the culture, and make sure the clubhouse stays on track all season. With many free agents brought in and a few trades, the Mets are ready for 2022.
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Steve Cohen made it clear that he will spend whatever it takes to win. Before the lockout, the Mets had already made multiple big signings, including two outfielders, an infielder, and one of the best pitchers in baseball. After the lockout, although not many checks were written, Billy Eppler brought in an All-Star level pitcher through the trade market. It’s clear that the Mets know it’s time to win, and they are all-in on bringing excitement to Queens.
Max Scherzer, Starting Pitcher, Three Years/$130 Million
There is not much to say to explain what this signing means. By signing Scherzer, the Mets have the top 1-2 punch in baseball. When they are both healthy, Jacob deGrom and Scherzer are a special duo. Although he is 37 years old, Mad Max has shown no signs of slowing down. In 2021, Scherzer pitched in 30 games finishing with a 2.46 ERA and 0.864 WHIP. Not only does he give you a strong chance to win every fifth day, but he also brings leadership the Mets are lacking. There is no bigger competitor in the sport than Scherzer, and his presence should elevate this clubhouse.
Starling Marte, Outfielder, Four Years/$78 Million
After a fantastic 2021, Marte decided to come to Queens. Last season with the Marlins and Athletics, Marte slashed .310/.383/.458. Not only does Marte bring a very strong bat, but he also brings speed. He led the MLB in stolen bases with 47 last year. The New York has lacked in base stealing the past few years, so bringing in someone who can steal that many bags is a big plus for them. After losing Michael Conforto, the Mets filled their need for a plus outfielder with Marte.
Chris Bassitt, Starting Pitcher, (Acquired from Athletics)
With deGrom becoming injury-prone and question marks surrounding the rest of the Mets rotation, adding another big arm was important for the Mets. After the lockout, Billy Eppler made a move to acquire Bassitt from the A’s, in exchange for two pitching prospects. An All-Star in 2021, he finished with a 3.15 ERA while pitching in 27 games. For the past few years, Bassitt has been able to stay healthy throughout the season and get wins for his team. The Mets need a starter that they can rely on pitching every fifth day, and Bassitt will do that.
Michael Conforto, Right Fielder, Free Agent
After spending his whole career with the Metropolitans, Conforto is a free agent. After a slow start in 2021, Conforto started to pick things up in the second half of the season. History says that he should be able to go back to his old self pretty easily, and losing a player like him is never good. Throughout his seven-year career, Conforto has a .824 OPS. Although there is a small chance he could end up back in New York, it is very unlikely.
Aaron Loup, Relief Pitcher, Angels
Loup was one of the best relievers in 2021. The southpaw finished the year with a 0.95 ERA and a 422 ERA+. Loup was the Mets’ most consistent reliever and was always got the job done. They still have yet to replace Loup with another lockdown lefty, so the absence of him might come back to haunt them. Loup signed a multiple-year contract with the Angels, and should be dominant for years to come.
Even with some early injuries, if the Mets do not make the playoffs this year, the season will be a failure. Showalter was brought in to change the culture of this ball club and finally bring them back to October for the first time since 2016. After a down year last year, Francisco Lindor needs to prove that he is worth $340 million and go back to his old self. Likewise, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith are bound to have bounce-back seasons and spark the Mets’ offense. Although unlikely to be big prospects that are going to be called upon this year, the Mets have the roster to be the last team standing.
If deGrom is able to come back healthy, he will be able to dominate. If that is the case, the trio of Scherzer, deGrom, and Bassitt are built for the playoffs. Although there are still questions surrounding the back of the rotation, the Mets have a chance to have a very special rotation if all are healthy.
The Mets should be in the playoffs and have the chance to make a deep run. Even though New York plays in a talented division, at least making the wild card should be a must. If most goes according to plan and deGrom is able to come back healthy this summer, these expectations should be met.
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