Mark Canha

Brett Baty Should Be Opening Day Third Baseman

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.

Tommy Pham Bad Move For Mets

Tommy Pham is one of those moves that sounds good. After all, people can remember him being a good player at one time, so certainly, it must be a coup to get him on this New York Mets team as a fourth outfielder. However, you have to ask yourself how were the Mets even able to get him as a fourth outfielder.

The answer is simple – Pham is not a good baseball player anymore. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine how the outfielder who will be 35 on Opening Day will suddenly regain his ability to play baseball.

Last year, between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox, two places great for right-handed hitters, Pham hit .236./.312/.374 with 23 doubles, one triple, 17 homers, and 63 RBI. That season wasn’t an anomaly; it is who Pham is now. Over the past three seasons, Pham is hitting .231/.324/.372.

Looking at the advanced numbers, Pham had an 89 wRC+, and over the past three, Pham has a 94 wRC+. When looking at Baseball Savant., you get a clearer picture of what has happened with Pham.

Simply put, Pham is a dead red hitter. He hits the fastball well. However, he can no longer hit a breaking or off-speed pitch. He still hits the fastball quite hard, and he can truly do damage to those pitchers. That said, he really can’t hit anything else. In reality, that makes him an easy out, which is indicated by his declining numbers over the past three years.

It should come as no surprise Pham does have decent numbers against left-handed pitching. In 2022, he had a 115 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, and over the past three seasons, he has a 111 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. Certainly, this could make him part of the platoon equation at DH for Daniel Vogelbach.

Here, it should be noted Darin Ruf had a 116 wRC+ against left-handed pitching last year, and he has a 137 over the past three seasons. While the counter-argument is Pham could better serve as a fourth outfielder, that is not entirely correct as Pham had a -6 OAA in left as opposed to Ruf’s -5. Put another way, they are both bad outfielders who are best suited to DH.

On Ruf, he can at least play first base to spell Pete Alonso. Another note here is Ruf should serve as a warning for Pham. Ruf was a semi-regular player who struggled in a pure reserve role for the Mets. Now, the Mets are looking to do the same with Pham.

Really, at the end of the day, it is difficult to ascertain what purpose Pham fills for this team. He’s not an upgrade in any sense, and if you want to make out that fantasy football fight with Joc Pederson to be part of a larger picture, he could serve as a detriment in the clubhouse, but that may be a bit of a stretch as he has not seemed to have an in-season issue with a teammate. However, we also can’t ignore it.

However, that feud with Pederson should not matter. The Mets didn’t need Pham. In reality, they needed to move Mark Canha to a fourth outfielder role, and that could’ve been accomplished by signing an outfielder, or as they tried with Carlos Correa, by signing an infielder. Whatever the case, the Mets signed Pham for one year meaning he should not stand as an impediment should he struggle or the team is ready to turn to Brett Baty at third or left.

Maybe Darin Ruf Is Answer to Mets Darin Ruf Problem

While the New York Mets have addressed many of their offseason needs, the one area which remains unaddressed is DH. To a certain extent, it seems odd a team so willing to go well beyond the point where teams would consider spending has seen their offseason stall on this front. Certainly, the Carlos Correa drama was part of that.

However, the Mets did see viable options sign elsewhere. Andrew McCutchen purportedly turned down more money from the Mets to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trey Mancini is a Chicago Cub. Adam Duvall just signed with the Boston Red Sox.

This leaves the Mets trying to talk themselves into the next tier of players. Jurickson Profar is a popular target, but he’s not much of a hitter. He does increase the Mets versatility, but he is also not someone who has not thrived in a reserve or part-time role.

Robbie Grossman is an interesting choice. He has good numbers against left-handed pitching, and he does have a good walk rate. Typically speaking, he makes good contact, and he can hold his own defensively. Moreover, he has thrived in a reserve/part-time role. However, he has zero power.

That brings us back to Darin Ruf. What this Mets team was sorely lacking was power, and the Mets gave up way too much to get Ruf to try to help address their power issues. Obviously, Ruf did not do that last season posting a 13 OPS+. He did get one postseason start drawing a walk and a HBP in his one start.

It should be noted Ruf did land on the IL after he was acquired by the Mets with a neck strain. Certainly, it’s possible that impacted his performance. If it did, the hope is he could be back to being a right-handed DH platoon option against left-handed pitching. In his career, he does have a 143 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.

He’s slightly more than a platoon DH option. He can spell Pete Alonso at first base on occasion. That’s important with Alonso needing a break every now and then. He can’t play the outfield everyday in his career, but he can at least play there for a game or an inning or two. This does have some value to the team.

Mostly, he’s simply replaceable. If he doesn’t get the job done, Eduardo Escobar or Mark Canha can easily take over his role. That would require the Mets to play Luis Guillorme as their primary second baseman, but that is something they should be doing anyway. There is also the question of when the Mets are going to call-up Francisco Álvarez or Mark Vientos to at least take over part of this role.

In the end, the Mets have Ruf and are paying him. He has a role which can be easily supplanted by the talent on this team. The upgrades on the free agent market are gone. At this point, the Mets might as well role with him and see if he can rebound.

Mets Should Move Canha Over Escobar

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.

Carlos Correa Accelerates Decisions On Baty, Mauricio, And Vientos

To the shock of everyone, the New York Mets signed Carlos Correa to a 13 year $315 million deal after the San Francisco Giants found an issue with Correa’s physicals. Once we sift through the shock and awe of it all, we are eventually left with the question as to what it means for the Mets top prospects.

Both Brett Baty and Mark Vientos are third baseman, and Ronny Mauricio is a shortstop. We saw Baty and Vientos make their Major League debuts this past season, and Mauricio was just named the Dominican Winter League MVP. In an alternate universe, they could have all been on the Mets in 2023 playing everyday at some point in the season.

With Francisco Lindor and Correa set to play the left side of the Mets infield for the next decade, all three of the aforementioned players are going to have to find a new position if they are going to stay with the Mets. In all honesty, these were decisions the Mets were investigating anyway.

In terms of Vientos, he had been twice bumped off of third base. When Baty was promoted to Double-A in 2021 and Triple-A in 2022, he became the the primary third baseman. However, it should be noted the Mets organization did take this as an opportunity to move Baty and Vientos to different positions as well. In the end, that is probably best for both.

Baty’s size has always made his long-term ability to play third a debate. To his credit, Baty has continued to improve at the position, but he was never going to be a plus defender at the position. He projects as hopefully average at the position. In essence, this is part of the reason why the Mets have exposed him to left where he has looked good.

In terms of Vientos, the Mets had already seemed to realize his best defensive position is DH. He has struggled at third, and while he has made improvements, there really aren’t any scouts who believe he can handle the position on an everyday basis. This should allow the Mets to let him focus on DH and maybe even work at first base in the event of an unthinkable Pete Alonso injury.

Mauricio is more interesting, but with him, the Mets have more time to make a decision. Much like with Baty, the expectation was his size coupled with his continuing to grow was eventually going to force him off of his natural position. However, Mauricio has continued to stay at short and has played well there. Still, with Lindor’s presence, eventually, Mauricio was going to have to move off of short.

Mauricio played some third with LIDOM, and he looked quite good. In fact, with his ability to move to his left and his big arm, third seemed like the perfect spot for him in the future. However, now, that is no longer in play because Correa is there for the next 13 years.

Ultimately, this may mean he needs to shift to right field sooner rather than later. Mauricio being an above average runner with a big arm should translate very well there. You can also argue he should get some looks in center.

Another note here is the upper levels of the Mets system does not have much outfield depth. The depth they did have took a hit with Jake Mangum being traded to the Miami Marlins. To a certain extent, moving Baty and Mauricio to the outfield would help a need for the Mets. That goes double when you consider Mark Canha has an expiring contract at least theoretically opening up left field for next season.

There is also the elephant in the room. Having Correa and Lindor makes this trio of prospects more available to be traded. If there is a move available at the trade deadline, the Mets are more in a position to trade them.

However, the Mets proceed, they have a very good problem. They have All-Stars and future Hall of Famers on the left side of the infield with very good prospects who are trying to break through at those positions. In the short term, the Mets are insulated against injury. In the long term, the possibilities are endless.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first published on MMN.

 

Mets Need To Avoid JD Martinez

Reports are Steve Cohen and the New York Mets believe they still need to add a bat to this roster. In reality, they are quite right in that assessment. They may not be entirely correct in their pursuit.

According to those reports, the Mets are pursuing Michael Conforto and JD Martinez. As previously explained, Conforto would be a very good fit for the Mets roster, and really, it would be a good spot for Conforto to return to familiar surroundings to rebuild his value.

When it comes to Martinez, the Mets should avoid him. He is a very poor fit for this team, and in reality, he may not have anything left.

Martinez will be 35 next season. His sprint speed is 26.1 ft/sec. He didn’t play a single inning in the outfield last season. He has never played first base. The long story short is he’s only a DH at this point in his career. As a result, his ability to provide any value to his team will solely be wrapped up in his ability to hit.

That can be problematic.

Martinez was productive in 2022 with a 117 OPS+ and 119 wRC+. That mark ranked him as the seventh best DH in all of baseball. For a Mets team had the worst DH production for most of the 2022 season that would be an upgrade. However, it is probably not an upgrade from what is here already.

Last season, Daniel Vogelbach had a 150 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and has a 127 mark for his career. Looking towards 2023, he could share that role with one of Francisco Álvarez, Mark Canha, and/or Eduardo Escobar (133 wRC+ against left-handed pitching in 2022). All three of those players provide the ability to play in the field as needed.

Last season, Martinez had a 175 wRC+ against left-handed pitching and a 103 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Therein lies part of the problem.

If you sign Martinez, you are signing him to DH everyday. However, we see while he kills left-handed pitching, he is not hitting right-handed pitching anymore. Considering the vast majority of Major League pitchers are right-handed, that is a problem. That is also the tip of the iceberg.

Looking over at Baseball Savant, Martinez is in decline like you would expect for a 35 year old baseball player. His exit velocities and launch angles were down. He struck out slightly more and his walks have dipped (both not to the point of any real concern). As a result, his hard hit rates are down as well. Digging deeper, he’s starting to struggle hitting the fastball with his xBA in a steep decline from 2017.

Again, this is what you get from a 35 year old player. That is even if you want to point out much of the regression in his production was related to back issues. Certainly, people will point to Martinez having a bad second half as evidence that the bat will be there now that Martinez has had an offseason to recuperate

If you recall, this is a game the Mets played in 2008 with Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was 36 with back issues, and he played like a 36 year old with back issues. Maybe Martinez is different, but when you’re a win-now team spending upwards of $400 million, this is not the risk you want to take.

For the Mets, their options should be sign Conforto, stand pat, or do something else. The answer is not J.D. Martinez, and really, they should avoid him at all costs. .

Michael Conforto Should Be Next

Go back to 2015. Michael Conforto was a superstar in the making, and Brandon Nimmo seemed like the disappointing prospect. Seven years later everything is different.

Nimmo received the largest contract the Mets ever handed out to a homegrown player, and Conforto is looking for work. As soon as three seasons ago, that seemed completely implausible.

In the 2020 COVID impacted season, Conforto played at an MVP level. It was a level we knew he was capable of playing, and it seemed like his career was just going to take off. It didn’t as he would suffer an injury plagued 2021 season greatly impacting his production.

After rejecting the qualifying offer, he became a free agent. However, he would go unsigned as Conforto would injure his shoulder in the offseason. While rumors surfaced he may sign somewhere, he would sit out the season waiting for this offseason where he could attempt to cash in on a weaker free agent outfield market.

There was a report from Mike Puma of the New York Post Conforto was not looking to return to the Mets because ” the outfielder might want an escape from the narrative that he erred last offseason in rejecting the qualifying offer from the club.” That would be stupid on his part, and as we see with the Mets spending, they may be able to entice him to return.

Better put, the Mets need to entice him to return.

In September and the Wild Card Series, one thing which was readily clear was the Mets had a power outage, and it was impacting their ability to score runs. When you face better pitching, mounting those rallies becomes increasingly difficult, and at some point, you just need a guy who is going to put it in the seats.

Looking at the roster last season, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor were the only two who could consistently do that all season. Eduardo Escobar did hit 20 homers, but he hit eight of those in September, and it became increasingly clear he was really just a platoon option.

With Escobar, the Mets do seem to have Brett Baty ready or near ready to take over for him at third. We should eventually see Francisco Álvarez become the primary catcher. And yet, it does seem the Mets are one power bat short. That goes double with the DH situation and the inability to truly rely on rookies who are questionable to make the Major League roster.

Surveying the Mets roster, it would seem the biggest upgrade possibility would be in left field. Mark Canha did a good job there in 2022, but there remain question marks for him in 2023.

Canha’s defense was bad but not unplayable -1 OAA. His launch angle took a nose dive as did his barrel rates. With his value mostly wrapped in his OBP, it was at least concerning that his walk rate took a considerable step backwards. Again, this is a player in decline. He has value to the roster, but the more you look at him, it does not seem as if he is well suited to be the Mets everyday left fielder.

That’s not necessarily to say it’s Conforto. That said, he was a good fielder the last time he played, and assuming he’s stayed in shape, he promises to be one next season. He also has much more power than Canha, and really, if we want to look towards DH, Daniel Vogelbach. Another point there is Conforto has been able to hit left-handed pitching whereas Vogelbach is worse than a pitcher against lefties.

There’s the other point Conforto can handle New York, and we have seen him deliver in big moments here. When you consider the rules eliminating the shift, he should be even more potent at the plate than he was when he last played. Overall, Conforto should have some big hits in his bat, and the Mets need those big hits. The more you think about it, the more you realize Conforto needs to return to the Mets.

Daniel Vogelbach Trade Hamstrung Mets

With respect to Daniel Vogelbach, some things should be made clear. The trade did help the New York Mets last season.

Vogelbach was a definitive upgrade over J.D. Davis. He was a DH for a team in need of one. He was cheap in every sense of the word.

Colin Holderman was a light price to pay for an established Major League hitter. His $800,00 contract was absurdly low as was his $1.5 million option.

Vogelbach kills right-handed pitching. He had a 150 wRC+ against them in 2022. In three of the last five years, he’s been a 127 or better, and in four of the past five, he’s been 117 or better.

However, as good as he’s been against right-handed pitching, he’s been even worse against left-handed pitching. For his career, he has a 41 wRC+ against them.

That’s unplayable necessitating the Mets platoon him. The issue there was Davis is/was not good necessitating another trade.

While Vogelbach was cheap to obtain, Darin Ruf wasn’t. The Mets gave up too much to obtain him. No one would normally care all that much, but Ruf was bad.

Ruf did not adapt well to being a strict platoon DH. With the Mets, he had a 24 wRC+. Mets fans may actually be surprised to learn it was that high.

With Ruf being 36 years old, it’s difficult to see him turning things around. After all, he was already having a poor year with the San Francisco Giants.

This does leave the Mets in a position where they’re looking to address the DH position this offseason. As noted, that’s complicated by the presence of Vogelbach.

Remember, Vogelbach is a platoon DH and really nothing else. That hamstrings your roster flexibility. It also restricts who the Mets can use to address the other half of the platoon DH spot.

As we’ve seen, Ruf struggled, and there’s not much hope for a rebound. They won’t want to restrict Mark Vientos as just a platoon DH. Short of a reclamation project like Yoenis Cespedes, it’s difficult to imagine who will want to sign to be a short side platoon DH.

Perhaps, you could force Mark Canha or Eduardo Escobar into the role, but that forces you to make other moves. In some ways, that may make Brett Baty’s readiness to be an Opening Day third baseman the lynchpin to eventually making the Vogelbach trade work.

However you analyze it, it becomes clear Vogelbach has restricted the Mets ability to address the DH spot, and really, improve the roster overall. Yes, in the short term, it was the right move especially given all the costs involved, but in the long term, the trade isn’t working out well for the Mets.

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

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.

See above.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

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.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

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.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

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.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

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.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

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.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

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.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

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.

Whether or not it was the right call, Showalter won, and it was close to being 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.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

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.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

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.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

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.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

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.

Trea Turner Odd Fit For Mets

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.