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Mets World Series Window Is Just Two Years

For a moment, let’s assume the 2019 season was similar to the 1998 or 2005 season in that it was a stepping stone to real World Series contention.

There is legitimate hope for that. Pete Alonso had an all-time great rookie season. Jeff McNeil proved his rookie year wasn’t a fluke.

Amed Rosario seemingly turned the corner. Michael Conforto looked completely healthy, and Brandon Nimmo showed in September he’s healthy and ready to perform again at his 2018 level.

Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in the game, and Seth Lugo is the best reliever.

There is reasonable expectation for bounce-back years from Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, and Noah Syndergaard. That goes double with Jeremy Hefner as the new pitching coach.

While we can and should dicker about whether the 2020 team will be better than the 2019 team, there is hope for optimism as Carlos Beltran begins his second act in a New York Mets uniform.

Behind that optimism is a cold dose of reality.

We didn’t know it in 1998, but that Mike Piazza led team had two seasons as a contender. That was basically the same case with the David Wright and Jose Reyes led 2005 team we all thought would be good forever. This will likely be the same fate this core faces.

After the 2020 season, Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello will be free agents leaving the team to try to scramble to either re-sign them or attempt to sign a starter from a free agent class nowhere as good as the one which saw the Mets lose Zack Wheeler.

After 2021, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, and Noah Syndergaard will be free agents. That leaves the Mets looking to invest in four spots in the rotation over the next two years as the farm system is not prepared to provide that help in a way it could’ve if Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, and Simeon Woods Richardson were still with the organization.

Yes, we should see David Peterson grab one of those rotation spots, and a Stephen Gonsalves or Franklyn Kilome may emerge. However, they likely don’t have the same ceiling the 2015 – 2019 rotations had thereby eliminating the key competitive advantage the Mets had.

If you really want a heavy dose of reality look a year past that, and you’ll see Nimmo and Lugo will be a free agents, and deGrom can opt out of his deal. That’s going to happen as Alonso, McNeil, and Rosario are likely getting big arbitration salaries.

This means by 2022 this entire core could be completely gone with Alonso being the player designated to build around much in the same way the Mets opted Wright for that honor.

Overall, this means unless things change dramatically, the Mets have a two year window. That could be opened longer if Steve Cohen flexes some financial muscle, and/or he opts to bring in an actually qualified and competent GM to replace Brodie Van Wagenen.

To that end, there’s hope even if Jeff Wilpon will be running the show. On that point, we can all hope it’s just a title with no real opportunity to drag the organization down.

No matter what the case, it’s imperative the Mets realize this is their shot, and they need to start acting like it instead of making a series of half measures hoping it adds up to a whole competing roster.

0 thoughts on “Mets World Series Window Is Just Two Years”

  1. Oldbackstop says:

    Steve Cohen.

    So stop the gibberish.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Take your own advice

  2. Oldbackstop says:

    @blair. Re: your WAR question.

    WAR is by its nature loosely goosey….there are multiple versions, and it is constantly evolving.

    Did you know that Tango actually designates a player as that years replacement model? For a few years I remember it was a AAA outfielder with the Pirates.

    Secondly, just think of it this way…what if the Yankees cornered the Top 25 WAR players? That doesn’t mean they will win 210 games. Likewise, the worst tanking team still wins 40 games a year. So look at it as the element of lick.

    Tango has a site…I see he somewhat addressed converting WAR into individual wins at some point:

    http://tangotiger.net/wonloss/index.php

    You seem like you would be someone that would benefit from the bill james site.

  3. Blair M. Schirmer says:

    @Oldbackstop – How’s it going? Still mulling your sound points on WAR. (Fwiw I’d agree summing team WAR on a curve to avoid the NYY 210 wins scenario makes sense, and it’s also consistent with the decreasing benefits of adding a star versus a good LFer to a 110 win team).

    @Metsdaddy – Apologies if I posted most of this a few days ago, but the table might be useful to some in the context of your title.

    For 2021 the Mets will have deGrom, Syndergaard, Matz–with Stroman, Porcello, Wacha, and Marisnick departed as FAs.
    For 2022 the Mets will have deGrom and… [crickets]–with Syndergaard, Matz, and Ramos departed as FAs.

    It’s going to get rough. With Conforto also leaving after 2021, there’s not much choice until at least 2023 except through free agency.

    For 2022 in particular it’s not pretty. 7 starting slots on the field and the rotation have to be filled through FA. As for the pen, only Diaz and Lugo are under team control, and they’re in their last arb years. If the team doesn’t learn to extend more of its good players or Steve Cohen isn’t willing to rocket past a $220m payroll, it’s in trouble. 2022:

    c – FA
    1B – Alonso (1st arb year)
    2B – McNeil (1st arb year)
    SS – Rosario (2nd arb year)
    3B – FA
    LF – Davis, Smith (1st arb, 1st arb)
    CF – FA
    RF – Nimmo (final arb year)

    SP – deGrom (last season before player opt-out)
    SP – FA
    SP – FA
    SP – FA
    SP – FA

    RP – Diaz (final arb year)
    RP – Lugo (final arb year)
    RP, all – FA

    —-Total cost just in FA for 2022 is around 100m to keep the team where it currently is, PLUS an entire bullpen, PLUS the cost of the named players. (That might add up to185m before we get to the pen not named Diaz and Lugo.) That’s what happens when the upper levels of the farm are bare.

    It’s also a tale of how the ‘bits and pieces’ approach harms a team. For Broxton, JD Davis, and now Marisnick, Van Wagenen dealt away 8 useful to very good minor leaguers. Had he packaged those 8 well, the Mets would have their young stud full time CFer or starting pitcher.

    — Put another way, all told, 7 key roles have to be filled through FA for 2022. If the Mets spent 100m just on those roles (and note what you get for about 14m AAV in FA) they’d still have 3 players in their final arb years (who get about 80% of a FA’s salary), 4 more guys in their first or second arb years (40 or 60% of a FA’s salary), and deGrom’s 35m. Ouch.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      It just shows how BVW had zero clue about the team’s real window was or how to build a sustained winner

    2. Oldbackstop says:

      @blair. But…it is a beautiful thing. All those salaries are coming off at the time we are getting the richest owner in history. Look at what that could get this year, forgetting free agents. The Rocks would love to unload Arenados deal. Other situations like that are out there. Brodie has a champagne budget, and he is the perfect guy for the job– someone who has been intimately involved in wooing elite free agents.

      His landing of Wacha and Porcello shows exactly that ability.

      Brodie showed an 8 win jump. I think he is probably going to be the greatest GM in Mets history

      1. metsdaddy says:

        No one can honestly believe Brodie will be the greatest GM in Mets history.

      2. Oldbackstop says:

        @blair. Brodie has three special assistants of note: Terry Collins, Omar Minaya and David Wright.

        I don’t think Brodie gets much involved in areas beyond player procurement and contracts. Other GMs might make their mark with new stadiums, the farm system, scouting….he has got people for that. His unique talent lies in wooing FAs, negotiating incentivized, low guarantee contracts with team (Wacha, Yo-C 2.0) and getting FAs to come here when other teams might be offering more money and longer years (Porcello).

        He is a mover and shaker, has brought excitement to the fan base, and improved the team by nine wins (for some reason I was saying eight) without a budget jump.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Brodie has not caused excitement, and the team definitively did not improve because of him. In fact, had he done nothing, the Mets very likely have a better record

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