Back in 2019, the New York Mets had Pete Alonso begin the season on the Opening Day roster. The idea was he gave the team their best chance to win games, and they thought keeping him in the minors for two weeks could cost them the postseason. Essentially, one year of service time was not worth missing out on the postseason.
Of course, now, we know that was all part of the grift. The Wilpons knew they were going to be forced to sell, so they had Brodie Van Wagenen set out to completely mortgage the future to try to win that one year. That included starting Alonso in the majors and not caring about that extra year of control. The irony would be the Wilpons limited budget and cheapness ultimately did cost them the postseason as they didn’t have the money to address the bullpen.
While the plan was flawed from its inception with the Wilpons, it is a plan that has merit with a real owner like Steve Cohen. To wit, the Mets should look to eschew service time concerns and control, and they should have Brett Baty being the 2023 season on the Opening Day roster.
That is at least the general consensus from the scouting community. Keith Law of The Athletic says Baty has nothing to learn in the minors and is the Mets best third base option. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline says Baty should be the third baseman in 2023 because he is an improvement defensively over Eduardo Escobar with a better offensive ceiling.
While Mets fans were understandably not impressed with Baty defensively in short sample size, Escobar has proven he can’t really play the position. He had a -6 OAA a year after he had a -3. As he’s 34 and with their being no shift in 2023, he is only going to get worse. The Mets did recognize that last season, and that is part of the reason why they moved him to a platoon with Luis Guillorme.
Guillorme has been previously addressed here. WIth the shift elimination rules and the limitations of Mark Canha, Guillorme should be the everyday second baseman. That would be the newly extended Jeff McNeil can move to left field where he has been historically move effective. It should also be less wear-and-tear on a player the Mets can have through his age 35 season.
Baty can at least be adequate defensively, which is a step up from Escobar. While the ground ball rates are a problem, he has real offensive potential. He needs to improve those ground ball rates. The hope there is Jeremy Barnes can do that. Even though Baty made significant strides on this front in Double-A last season, Barnes is still arguably the best person to get Baty to lift the ball and get the most out of his power.
What needs noting here is it may not happen right away with Baty. That is fine because the Mets still have the option to send him back down to Triple-A and shift to the Escboar/Guillorme platoon which was very effective last season. Better yet, he can begin to fulfill his promise and be that bat the Mets were hoping to find this offseason. The only way the Mets can find that out is by putting him on the Opening Day roster.
Before Steve Cohen, the only players who were New York Mets for life were Ed Kranepool and David Wright. Kranepool was a semi-regular player who set records mostly due to longevity, and Wright appeared to be a Hall of Famer until he succumbed to spinal stenosis. Taking them both together, the Mets never really had a homegrown star who spent their entire careers with the team AND had their career end on their own terms.
Now, with Steve Cohen, it now looks like there will be two. Earlier in the postseason, Brandon Nimmo was given the largest contract to a homegrown Mets player. It now appears he will spend his entire career with the Mets. It also appears as if he will be joined by Jeff McNeil.
As many Mets fans were hoping to see, McNeil signed an extension with the team. He received a four year $50 million extension. This contract also includes a team option which could make it a five year $63.75 million deal. Based upon his performance, it may not be too soon to surmise it is really a five year deal.
To many, there was a shock over how low the contract total was. That wasn’t necessarily the Mets being cheap, or McNeil undervaluing himself. Mostly, it is the system at play. McNeil would not have been a free agent for another two seasons, which suppresses his earning ability over that time frame.
Keep in mind, McNeil wanted to stay, so in some ways, agreeing to an extension now was to try to maximize his return now. He wasn’t going to be a free agent until his near mid-30s, and he would not be a free agent in his early 30s. Despite that, he had tremendous value to this Mets organization.
Remember, McNeil is already a two time All-Star. He has won a batting title. He is a very good second baseman and better left fielder. He’s perhaps the best suited in all of baseball to thrive in the soon-to-be no shift era. Mostly, he is a player who has been a great Met, and he wanted to be a Met for his career.
The Mets stepped up in a way they almost never did before Cohen. They signed a very good player important to the team’s success now. They signed a guy who was a fabric to this team and wanted to be here. Now, it appears he and Nimmo are set to join Kranepool and Wright as Mets for life, and Mets fans are blessed this is the case.
Based upon Carlos Correa‘s Instagram and comments, we are back to feeling good about him signing with the New York Mets. At least according to Correa, it’s a fait accompli, and we should treat it as such while further inquiring what is next for the New York Mets.
Reports are the Mets will look to move Eduardo Escobar once the deal is completed with Correa. To a certain extent, you understand the thinking. Correa replaces Escobar as the everyday third baseman leaving Escobar as the odd man out. However, that ignores Jeff McNeil‘s versatility.
As we saw last year, McNeil was very good at second, left, and right. Over the course of his career, McNeil hits and generally plays better when he is in the outfield. Of course, to move him out there on a more regular basis, the Mets would have to displace Mark Canha. As a result, signing Correa is really a debate of Canha and Escobar.
To get the first part out of the way, while Steve Cohen has shown he doesn’t care about the money, Canha is the more expensive player. He is owed $11.5 million in 2023 with a $2 million buyout of his $11.5 million option for 2024. Escobar is owed $9.5 million with a $500,000 buyout of his $9 million 2024 option. With the 90% Cohen tax, the $2 million difference between their salaries is $3.8 million on the Mets books irrespective of the buyouts.
However, it is more than just the cost savings. Escobar is a better fit for this Mets roster.
First and foremost, Escobar provides more versatility. He has played second and third over the last few seasons, and that provides for insurance in the event of a Correa or McNeil injury. Remember, both players have some durability issues, and we may see a point where both are on the IL or banged up at the same time necessitating playing Escobar and Luis Guillorme.
Another factor is the Mets are very left-handed in certain spots, especially at DH where Daniel Vogelbach is solely a platoon option there. For his career, Escobar is a 109 wRC+ against left-handed pitching with a 133 wRC+ last season. On that, he seemed to settle in well platooning third base with Guillorme, and he does promise to do that with Vogelbach next season.
On the contrary, Canha has a 110 wRC+ against left-handed pitching and a 115 last season. These are certainly not bad numbers, but they are not at the level of Escobar last season. Another note is Escobar has far more power in his bat providing an element to the lineup the Mets need which Canha really does not supply.
At their ages, both players are in decline off their primes with Canha in steeper decline seeing his hard hit rates and defense continue to drop in a steady fashion. Escobar is fighting off Father Time a bit better while being a hair faster on the field.
More important than any of that is neither Canha or Escobar can really play everyday right now. Based on what we saw in 2022, Escobar can more easily slot into a part-time role. After all, he did it effectively last season, and when they needed to call upon him to play everyday again, he was able to answer that call. We still don’t know if Canha can do that.
Whoever the Mets opt to keep, they are going to have to become more versatile. Escobar is already that, and ideally, the Mets will have him working out and learning first to spell Pete Alonso. It would also behoove him to learn to play left for the first time since 2017. As for Canha, he has played third in a pinch, but he has been predominantly an outfielder since 2017.
In the end, the Mets have to ask themselves two questions. First, who can better complement this roster? Second, who will net us a better return? Ultimately, the answer to these questions will dictate which of these two are moved more than anything else.
You’ve got Verlander, Mr. Cohen,
You filled the deGrom sized hole,
Your pocket is full of dollars, you have Gotham in your soul, Mr. Cohen,
I couldn’t touch your pitching with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!
You’re a rotter, Mr. Cohen,
You’re the king of concession spots,
Your ballparks got helmet nachos with Mr. Softee instead of those lame Dippin’ Dots, Mr. Cohen,
You’re a three decker sauerkraut hotdog and double burger with extra Shack sauce!
You nauseate me, Mr. Cohen,
With a payroll super cost!,
You’re Scherzer is joined by a Koudai, and you sold McCann at a loss, Mr. Cohen,
Your opponents are left as an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most intimidating
assortment of pitches imaginable putting batters in tangled up knots!
You’re a foul one, Mr. Cohen,
You’re Omar catches pitches that sunk,
Your Edwin had us soil our jocks, your Quintana puts us in a funk, Mr. Cohen,
The three words that best describe the NL East opponents follows, and I quote,
“Stink, stank, stunk”!
EDITORS NOTE: Adapted from “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
In 2023, Major League Baseball will eliminate the shift putting more of a premium on defense up the middle of the infield. As a result, the New York Mets should really be considering making Luis Guillorme their everyday second baseman in 2023.
Part of the reason for this need is Pete Alonso at first base. While Alonso had a promising defensive 2021 season, he completely regressed in 2022 with a -8 OAA. It was the worst he’s ever been, and the Mets can’t shift away his defensive issues anymore.
Now, Jeff McNeil was a good defensive second baseman last season. In fact, he was Gold Glove caliber with an 8 OAA. That wasn’t exactly a fluke with a 4 OAA the previous season. That said, Guillorme is just better.
Guillorme posted a 3 OAA at second last season in 301.1 fewer innings. With more chances and reps, he would have posted a higher total. Moreover, he’s lightning quick on the double play, makes the difficult seem routine, and he makes the impossible into an out.
WHAT A PLAY BY LUIS GUILLORME!
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 26, 2022
To be honest, getting Guillorme’s glove onto the field has never really been the issue or a debate. Credit is due and owing to Buck Showalter for recognizing that importance over previous Mets managers, and we saw Guillorme have a strong 2022 season as a semi-regular/back-up player.
The issue has always been the bat with him, and certainly, people are going to argue they do not want to displace McNeil. With respect to McNeil, the truth is he’s typically hit better as an outfielder. In 2022, he had a .852 OPS as a second baseman. That’s phenomenal but not as good as the .863 OPS he had as a left fielder or the .896 he had as a right fielder.
That is McNeil’s career trend. As a second baseman, he has a .804 OPS as a second baseman. He has a .853 OPS in left, and a .860 OPS in right. This is probably the result of McNeil having fresher legs when he plays the outfield against second, but he has always been a better hitter when he has been in the outfield.
So, the move makes sense for McNeil, but that does bring the Mets power outage from 2022 into concern and the continued need to address it. Certainly, Guillorme and his .340 SLG won’t help that. That is true, but again, that is only part of the offensive equation. Another point here is how eliminating the shift will directly impact a player like Guillorme.
Guillorme is a player who sprays the ball around the field. Of note, when he hit against the shift, he had a .271 wOBA, but when there was not shift, he had a much better .313 wOBA. That pulls Guillorme more towards being an average hitter like his 106 wRC+ from last season would indicate.
Remember, that is league average offense at the bottom of the lineup. Guillorme isn’t going to strike out much, and historically, he walks a fair amount. For an eighth or ninth hitter, that is quite good. He can put it in play with runners on base, and he can help table set for when the lineup turns over to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor.
Speaking of Lindor, he and Guillorme would be an elite combination up the middle. At a time with no shifting, they will be two middle infielders who can thrive without shifting.
Overall, Guillorme can provide elite defense at second at a time where the rules put an imperative on up the middle defense. He can be a very good eighth or ninth place hitter. His presence in the lineup and on the field can and will make the Mets a better team. As a result, the Mets really need to think long and hard about making him the everyday second baseman next season.
One of the challenges the New York Mets have this offseason is rebuilding their rotation to match the one they had which carried them to 101 wins in 2021. That was going to be a challenge with the Mets needing to address four-fifths of the rotation; well, three-fifths after they picked up Carlos Carrasco‘s option.
The rotation was never really going to look the same, but it had to be as good. Arguably, it had to be better with the Mets losing in the Wild Card Series despite their top three starters lined up. The team did take a bit of a step back losing Jacob deGrom, but they responded quickly and perfectly by adding Justin Verlander.
Walker was a good and surprisingly durable pitcher for the Mets over the past two seasons. He showed flashes of being a top of the rotation starter, but he did have his struggles. Ultimately, he was a number three starter who pitched at the back end of the rotation. He was a very good Met, and the Mets will certainly miss him.
However, the team did rebound with Quintana. Keep in mind with the age of Max Scherzer, Verlander, and Carrasco, Quintana is “only” going to be 34 next season. He has pitched in the majors for 11 years, and the only time he did not make at least 22 starts was 2020 – 2021. One year was the pandemic (he did have an injury that season), and the other he dealt with shoulder issues.
Whatever concerns you may have after that two year stretch were abated when Quintana made 32 starts last season. The downside was he only pitched 165.2 innings meaning he averaged only five innings per start.
Part of that could be related to his coming back from two injury plagued years. He was in the bullpen in 2021, and he was moved back to the rotation. That does require some ease. Another issue is the Pirates are not very analytically advanced limiting their ability to get the most from their starters.
To a certain extent, we saw that play out when Quintana went to the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline. Yes, he only averaged five innings per start, but that was skewed by a few short outings. To be fair, those happened.
Putting all of that aside for a moment, that does not change the fact Quintana took the ball every fifth day. Much like he has the vast majority of his career, he promises to do the same next season. That gives the Mets some certainty with an older rotation as they also seek to manufacture pitching depth this offseason.
With respect to the stuff, well, Quintana doesn’t wow you in any sense. He doesn’t have velocity or great spin. What he does have is the ability to locate and generate weak contact. He also generates a high number of ground balls. Even without the shift, he should be aided by having Francisco Lindor and one of Jeff McNeil or Luis Guillorme up the middle.
In the end, Quintana’s skill-set is enhanced by the defense behind him. The Mets infielders will make him seem a better pitcher, and maybe then, he can go a little deeper into games. Even if he doesn’t, he is going to take the ball every fifth day and give the Mets five solid innings. There is immense value in that, especially for an older rotation, and the Mets will benefit greatly from having signed Quintana.
Before the season, there were 60 bold predictions made heading into the New York Mets 60th season. Here is a look back at how those bold predictions worked out:
1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.
While they won 101 games, they collapsed late in the season, and they would lose in three games to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.
2. Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.
Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.
3. Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.
Lindor did have a huge second year, but a broken finger cost him any chance of winning the award.
5. Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.
As it turned out, Smith was not given a real shot to be the DH. Not only did he not force his way into the lineup, but he was demoted to Triple-A, and he was not called up even with the expanded rosters. He was non-tendered after the season.
6. Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.
Diaz was an All-Star.
7. The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.
Diaz was the only All-Star from this group. The other Mets All-Stars were Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil.
It started that way, but deGrom wasn’t quite as sharp when he returned. He did not receive any votes.
9. Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.
As it turned out, he finished the season as the right fielder, but he moved back to second when Marte returned from injury for the postseason.
10. Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.
Wow, this one was way off the mark and couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was the opposite for Bassitt. He was strong all season until the very end.
12. Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.
Marte was a fan favortite, and Mets fans would not let him be snubbed with their voting him in as a starter.
13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.
For whatever which reason, the Mets were reluctant all year to give him a shot. After the Darin Ruf trade disaster, he finally got a shot in a pennant race and was less then thrilling.
14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.
Baty was not moved, and he would be called up to be the team’s everyday third baseman until his own season ending injury.
15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.
With his ankle injury, Álvarez was only called up to DH late in the season. Tomas Nido did supplant James McCann as the starter.
16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.
Well, the Phillies won the pennant, so this was only true to that extent. However, the Mets missed their every chance to bury the Braves and would eventually collapse.
This was very true in June. It was not true at all after that.
18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.
Megill had a good run as a starter until he was injured. He returned late in the season and moved to the bullpen. He is likely in the mix for the rotation next season.
19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.
Shockingly, not only did Carrasco rebound, but he also made 29 starts.
20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.
Williams was a vital part of this team all season.
21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.
This did not happen.
22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.
The Mets did not have any winners with only Nido being a finalist. In terms of the voting, there were multiple Mets who were snubbed despite excellent defensive numbers.
23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.
His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.
24. So will Eric Chavez.
Neither has him.
25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.
This was very close to being true. J.D. Davis was a DH in 41 games before the team mercifully got rid of him. After the trade deadline, Daniel Vogelbach was the DH in 46 games.
26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.
He did not.
While Rodriguez had his moments, he had an 87 ERA+ making his largely true.
28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.
To our collective surprise, Brandon Nimmo played a career high 151 games. Mark Canha would play 140.
For a one week stretch, when Plummer hit that ninth inning homer against the Phillies, Mets fans did fall in love with him before he stopped hitting as a part time DH. No Mets fan paid any attention to Lee.
30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.
Canha played fewer games than Nimmo, but he did have the lowest WAR among outfielders.
31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.
There wasn’t any issues with Stroman during the season, and he did not pitch against the Mets this year.
32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.
That did not happen.
Sadly, this was true.
34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.
It was difficult to ascertain who got the loudest ovation which was a great thing.
35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.
This award probably goes to McNeil for robbing the Oneil Cruz homer, but Guillorme had more than his fair share of highlights.
36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.
Alonso took a big step back defensively, but the Mets hesitated to give him more time at DH even to give him rest late in the season.
37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.
There were some rumblings about Conforto, but he wasn’t tied with the Mets. He also did not sign with any team.
38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.
We heard nothing on that front, but we should give this one time.
39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.
Nope, we didn’t, and it didn’t help that David Cone was saying Mets fans would complain about them not being GKR.
40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.
41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.
This one was actually true.
42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.
This one should’ve been true. However, Paul Lukas of Uniwatch found the flaw.
Smith was well on his way until injury. May did not have a great year, but that was mostly due to injury. It should be noted he stepped up late in the season and in the postseason.
44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.
With Scherzer dealing with an oblique injury and faltering against the Braves and Padres, this ultimately proved true.
45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.
The Mets did have a monster second half until they faltered against the weakest September schedule. Truth is they should have run away with the division.
46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.
The Blue Jays made the postseason. With them and the Mets losing in the Wild Card round, this was not remotely an issue.
47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.
It was a chilly reception.
48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.
So far, fans seems to be unhappy with the postseason changes.
49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.
Peterson did quite well even if he had some struggles, and he stayed in the rotation for the most part.
Holderman emerged as a quality relief option, but he would be traded for Vogelbach. Szapucki was moved to the bullpen with Syracuse with an eye towards using him in that role. He too would be traded for a platoon DH option (Ruf). The Mets only added Mychael Givens at the deadline while espousing they liked what they had.
This proved true with Nido finally taking over full duties at the very end of the season.
52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.
True, but Diaz was signed before the start of free agency.
53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).
True even as his team collapsed.
54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.
Walker tied for the second most starts. deGrom would actually make the fewest starts.
55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.
On April 29, the Co-No happened.
56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.
This likely will not happen.
There was no such announcment, but there was the announcement of Willie Mays and Keith Hernandez having their numbers retired.
58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.
MLB did not care about the lack of quality with the games, and honestly, while there were complaints, Mets fans didn’t complain nearly as much about the streaming games as you’d anticipate.
59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.
It actually proved to be more than just that. Showalter got Guillorme into the lineup due to his glove.
60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.
To reiterate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll probably make the same prediction next year.
Looking at the New York Mets, there’s surprisingly a lot of work to do for a 101 win roster. Aside from having to completely rebuild a pitching staff, the Brandon Nimmo free agency complicates matters.
With Nimmo a free agent, the Mets need to re-sign him or get creative (which never ends well). Aside from that, re-signing Nimmo of not, the Mets have to address their relative lack of power.
On both of these fronts, there are rumors the Mets have interest in Trea Turner. While Turner is a great player, it doesn’t make much sense.
Look, Turner is a great player, and if you have an opportunity to add him to your roster, you do it. However, you have to ask why Turner fits with the Mets and whether the money can be better invested (i.e. Nimmo).
Start with Francisco Lindor being entrenched at short. Lindor is younger and a better defender. You’re not moving him for Turner leading to find him another position. With Turner being 29 and already declining defensively, that’s probably a good idea anyway.
In terms of CF, Turner hasn’t played the position since 2016. That effectively means he’s not an option there. This is also where things get slightly complicated for the Mets.
Arguably, the versatility of Jeff McNeil permits the signing of Turner. However, that may create more problems than it solves.
Turner has never played third in his career, and the Mets seem resolute in never playing McNeil there again. As a result, this does nothing to solve the Mets third base issues (which may eventually be Brett Baty anyway).
Turner sparingly played second in 2021 and was quite good. That would force McNeil to left or right, which is also fine because he’s a slightly above average corner outfielder.
Moving McNeil to left also is what causes a problem for the Mets.
Shifting McNeil to a corner spot forces Starling Marte to center. That is something the Mets specifically sought to avoid when they signed Marte. In fact, if that was their plan, they would’ve had Nimmo play right field last year.
Marte was already declining defensively in center, and his sprint rate was dropping. Moreover, he’s a bit injury prone making center a problematic position for him for the long term.
This would also have the Mets looking to play Mark Canha everyday again. Playing everyday goes to the heart of the Mets power issue.
Canha slugged .403 last year and has slugged .397 over the last three years. As a fourth outfielder/platoon option, he’s phenomenal depth. As an everyday player, there are some issues.
On the power front, Turner would solve their problems a bit even if he is not who is was in 2020 when he posted career bests in exit velocity and barrels. As an aside, his exit velocities have trended down since that 2020 season.
Keep in mind, Turner will be 30. He’s nearing the end of his prime, and he’s already showing some signs of decreased production. No, this does not mean his prime is over or that he won’t be great.
Rather, it’s a warning. We don’t know how well he’ll age or how many years remain in his prime. We just know he’s showing signs he should move off short sooner rather than later and that the power has a very slight dip.
Taking it all into account, the Mets have to ask whether Turner is worth it. Arguably, signing him means they part ways with one of Nimmo or Jacob deGrom. Maybe both.
Moreover, while it helps with the power (and certainly the speed), the Mets have to ask if that’s enough. That does double when you consider Nimmo is the only everyday CF on the market. Does signing Turner over Nimmo actually make the Mets better?
Of course, we shouldn’t discount that this is Steve Cohen. If he can sign deGrom, Nimmo, and Turner, he will. If he can do that, the Mets would be scary, and you’ll be hard pressed to come up with reasons why they won’t win the World Series.
Short of signing all three, it would seem Turner makes the least amount of sense for the Mets especially considering the real gaps in the rotation and center.
The Sporting News has begun releasing their year end awards, and New York Mets manager Buck Showalter was named the National League Manager of the Year. Whomever made up the electorate has a lot of explaining to do about that.
Before delving further, there needs to be an important clarification about this Mets team. The roster that was assembled was a very good roster built to win the division and the World Series. This was not remotely the team which fell apart under Luis Rojas.
Look at the team again. There were four All-Stars with Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil, and Edwin Diaz. The team had five Silver Slugger finalists in Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Marte, McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo. Over half of their lineup was viewed upon as amongst the best at their position, and for absolutely none of those players was that remotely a shock..
This was also a team with the strongest and deepest rotation in baseball. They were second in baseball in payroll. This was an exceptional team across the board. Treating them like the Major League roster with Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn and Willie Mays Hayes was always been a farce.
However, narratives are narratives. It is with that prism people want to proclaim Showalter the best manager in the National League. Like most narratives, they fall to even the slightest bit of scrutiny.
Again, this was a very good team. It is why the Mets had a 10.5 game lead in June. Keep in mind, that meant Showalter was the skipper for a team which blew a 10.5 game lead. That is the largest blown lead over a full 162 game season since the inception of division play. What makes it all the worse is the Mets had the easiest closing schedule in baseball and only needed to take one game from the Atlanta Braves the final weekend of the season.
Put another way, Showalter led the Mets to an unprecedented collapse. It is bizarre they would give this award to a manager who was in charge when the Mets collapsed. More to the point, it is farcical Showalter would win the award over Brian Snitker, the manager who led the team from the 10.5 deficit to overtake Showalter’s Mets.
There is also the fact Dave Roberts led the Los Angeles Dodgers to the best record in all of baseball. He did that doing his usual platoon side mixing and matching. He also did it getting nothing from Walker Buehler and abbreviated seasons from Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Andrew Heaney. However, he doesn’t nearly get any credit. It’s probably because he is still tainted by the Dodgers past postseason failures.
Of course, for some reason, Showalter never had to deal with that reality when people looked at voting him Manager of the Year. Looking at him late in the season and the postseason, he was still every bit the manager who didn’t use Zack Britton. A large part of that may well be he has been great with the media and was great in the media.
This is a large part of the reason why he was not put under the microscope for his and his team’s failures. It is why he won Manager of the Year over the guy who beat him (Snitker) and the manager who probably did the best job (Roberts). In the end, people wanted to pretend it was Showalter who transformed the Mets and not the fact Steve Cohen opened his wallet to build a very good Mets team.
With Showalter getting a pass and people overlooking just how good this roster was, Showalter wins even though his team lost. All you can do is shake your head and laugh.
Before getting all undone about the Gold Glove Award snubs, we need to take note of the fact Juan Soto was a finalist for right field. Soto was literally the worst right fielder in 2022 with a -15 OAA. In fact, he was the second worst fielder in all of baseball.
That is according to OAA. Despite OAA being developed and becoming more trusted, it is not actually a part of the Gold Glove methodology. Per Rawlings, Gold Glove winners and finalists are a mix of coaches votes and SDI. Here’s the problem. Soto was also terrible according to that index. In fact, he was the second worst right fielder.
That brings us to the Mets. Before proceeding, it should be noted despite Luis Guillorme being top three in SDI for second baseman, he did not have enough innings to quality. That was even with Guillorme having a 6 OAA making him one of the best fielders in all of baseball. Again, there is an innings requirement, so we move along.
Francisco Lindor was the seventh best fielder in the NL by OAA and the the second best shortstop in all of baseball. However, SDI had him sixth, and apparently, the coaches didn’t love him. Lindor and Mets fans shouldn’t be too upset because Nico Hoerner led in SDI and was third in OAA, and he still was not nominated.
Jeff McNeil was the second best second baseman in the NL by OAA. He was fifth in SDI. He wasn’t a finalist. He spent time in both outfield spots as well, but he was one of the best fielders. To be fair, McNeil should not have won over Tommy Edman or Daulton Varsho. However, he was signicantly better than Brendan Donovan.
There was also Brandon Nimmo. He had a 6 OAA in center tying him for fourth in the NL. With Varsho being deemed a utility player, Nimmo was tied for third. SDI didn’t love him ranking him ninth. Coaches apparently don’t love his defense, so he didn’t get consideration for the Gold Glove.
As we see, while Rawlings may incorporate SDI and say offense doesn’t count, that’s not entirely true. After all, Soto, a truly terrible outfielder, got a nomination. This wasn’t as bad as Rafael Palmeiro, but this one does rank up there.
These snubs aren’t anything new for the Mets. Bartolo Colon led the league in DRS in 2016 and did not win. Last year, Taijuan Walker was the best defensive pitcher, but he didn’t win because he didn’t have enough innings at the right time of the season even if he would have enough at the end of the season to qualify. Lindor was the best shortstop in all of baseball last year per OAA, and he didn’t win.
On the bright side, Tomas Nido was nominated, and it was well deserved too. He may be the first Mets catcher to ever win the Gold Glove. Considering this franchise had Jerry Grote and Gary Carter, that would certainly be a huge accomplishment.
In the end, the Gold Glove was symbolic of this Mets season. The effort and results were there, but in the end, they aren’t going to be taking the trophy home. Hopefully, things will be better next year, both for the Mets and whomever is deciding who should be a Gold Glove finalist.