Peter Alonso

Mets Can’t Undo Great Offseason By Putting J.D. Davis At Third

Look across the diamond. The New York Mets are a significantly better baseball team. It’s not just better in terms of the rotation and starting lineup, but it’s also better in terms of their burgeoning depth. Despite that, somehow, the Mets failed to address their biggest need of the offseason – third base.

J.D. Davis is the incumbent third baseman, and simply put, he has done nothing but prove he has no business playing the position at the Major League level. In his career, he has played 770.0 innings there, and he has amassed a -19 DRS. As previously put in perspective, that was worse than what Wilmer Flores posted as the position, and there was near unanimous consent Flores should never man the position again.

The Mets were well aware of this, and that’s why they seemingly went out of their way this offseason to say they were going to upgrade at third base. He said the position was “up in the air,” and the team went on what seemed to be wild goose chases for Kris Bryant and Eugenio Suarez. For all we know, they are still doing all they can to pry those players loose from their current teams.

When the Mets were unable to acquire a real third baseman before the start of Spring Training, Luis Rojas was reluctant to name anyone as the team’s third baseman. That would appear to be an indictment of Davis, especially with second base becoming vacant with Robinson Cano‘s season long suspension.

At least on the surface, it would seem Davis would keep his slot at third with Jeff McNeil becoming the everyday third baseman. However, that’s not entirely possible with Davis not being able to play the position. In fact, Davis is literally the worst fielder in the Major Leagues.

Over the past two seasons, Davis has amassed a combined -29 DRS. That includes a -17 DRS at third and a -12 DRS in left field. Just to put in perspective how bad that is, he is the only player to appear TWICE among the worst 30 fielders over the past two seasons. As we’ve seen, the Mets just can’t hide him in the field. That goes double for third.

Making Davis at third even worse is the current complexion of the Mets pitching staff. Overall, this is a heavy ground ball pitching staff. To wit, here are their GB/FB ratios since 2017:

Looking at the make-up of the Mets top eight starting pitching options, seven of them induce batters to hit the ball on the ground. That makes having a good defensive infield more of an imperative. Yes, Francisco Lindor goes a long way towards doing that, but by playing Davis next to him, the Mets are effectively neutralizing Lindor’s effect.

Digging deeper, the Mets are going to play Pete Alonso at first where he is not a good fielder. That means the Mets are going to trot out a ground ball staff and have the Major League worst defense at the corners. Really, this does not remotely make any sense whatsoever. Really, it’s ponderous the Mets would even consider going in this direction.

When you look at it from that perspective, Davis cannot play third everyday. It only serves to hurt the team. Ideally, the Mets would pull off that blockbuster we’ve been waiting for them to pull off all offseason to acquire a third baseman, or they need to play Luis Guillorme everyday at second pushing McNeil to third, where he is a better fielder.

No matter what the Mets do, they simply cannot make Davis the everyday third baseman. They’ve done far too much this offseason, and they’ve built their team a certain way. Allowing Davis and his defense, or lack thereof, diminish or neutralize it, makes zero to no sense.

Pete Alonso’s Biggest Problem

When you look at the 2020 season, there were many who called it a sophomore slump for Pete Alonso, and we have seen some articles indicating the New York Mets need him to rebound. These articles are being written and the discussions are taking place because Alonso was not the same player in 2020 that he was in his record breaking Rookie of the Year season in 2019.

Despite that, Alonso was very good at the plate in 2020. Over the course of the season, he had a 118 wRC+ and a 123 OPS+. That rated him as a top 10 hitter at first base. Alonso was on a 162 game pace for 45 homers and 99 RBI. Those 45 homers would have been second only to himself for the single season mark in Mets history.

Looking at Baseball Savant, Alonso still had very good exit velocity numbers and an even better barrel rate. His whiff rate was poor, but that was counter-balanced by a good walk rate. Overall, these were promising numbers for a second year player who turned 26 years old.

Of course, the problem is that’s not how it is perceived. The reason is that all of Alonso’s numbers had regressed across the board. Honestly, that should lead people to question the reason why that happened. There are several possible reasons.

First and foremost, 2020 was just a bizarre season, and it left players in a strange place to get ready for the season and to get into rhythm. Alonso had served as the DH fairly often, which was a departure from his routine. There was more of a book on him than there was during his rookie year. Of course, while it was not often discussed with Alonso, the ball was no longer juiced. Well, it wasn’t as juiced as it was in 2019.

There’s also the possibility the 2019 season was Alonso’s career year. Really, it is no slight to say a season with a 5.2 WAR is a career year for a player. That’s an excellent season. Alonso can realistically fall short of ever repeating that while still being a very good 3-4 win player for the rest of his career.

We also shouldn’t discount Alonso being better. As we sit here, no one can really know which way his career is going to go. The only thing we do know is Alonso’s 2019 set the stage for Alonso having fairly unrealistic expectations. Expecting a player to hit 50+ homers a year is just an unfair and unrealistic expectation.

Whether people will admit it or not, that is the bar Alonso set for his rookie year. It is where people expect him to be because they really don’t know him to be anything other than that. Really, it is unfair to put him on that because he doesn’t have to be that in order to be an All-Star caliber player. He doesn’t have to be that to continue to emerge as the face of the Mets.

What Alonso needs to be is Alonso. Whatever that proves out to be will be a good player and an even better teammate and person.

Simply Amazin – Don’t Freak Out

I had the privilege of appearing on the Simply Amazin’ podcast with the great Tim Ryder. During the podcast, names discussed include but are not limited to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Rick Porcello, Francisco Lindor, J.D. Davis, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Valentine, David Wright, Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, Alex Cora, Luis Guillorme, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Jonathan Villar, James McCann, J.T. Realmuto, James Paxton, Trevor Rosenthal, Aaron Loup, Mike Piazza, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Jose Martinez, Alex Gonzalez, James Loney, Moises Alou, John Olerud, Davey Johnson, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Corey Oswalt, Luis Rojas, Jeremy Hefner, Jim Eisenreich, Alex Fernandez, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Darryl Strawberry, Albert Almora, and more

Please take a listen.

Todd Frazier Worth A Minor League Deal

When you look to build a roster, your bench should be reflective of what you are missing from your everyday players. For the New York Mets as constructed, they are missing a good defender at third, and they have a heavy left-handed hitting lineup. Ideally, a bench player for the Mets should be a strong defender at third, and it should be someone who can hit left-handed pitchers.

Like it or not, that describes Todd Frazier.

Since originally signing with the Mets, Frazier has been a 2 OAA for the Mets at third base and a 3 DRS overall. While this isn’t the plus defender he once was, Frazier remains a strong defender at the position, which puts him light years ahead of their incumbent third baseman J.D. Davis.

As a hitter, Frazier has not been the same player since he posted a 117 OPS+ in 2015. Over parts of the last three seasons with the Mets, Frazier had a below average 98 OPS+ with a 97 OPS+ overall. Looking behind those numbers on Baseball Savant, Frazier is a player with declining exit velocities and barrels.

All told, we see with Frazier he is a soon to be 35 year old baseball player. Before he signed with the Mets, he was a relative iron man. Since 2018, he has been nicked up here and there. With that also comes a player with years of experience who has been a leader in the clubhouse. In fact, when the Mets re-acquired him at the trade deadline last year, the Mets players were happy he was returning:

However, he does provide more value than just a good glove and a good guy in the clubhouse. While he has faltered against right-handed pitching, he continues to thrive against left-handed pitching. Since 2018, Frazier has a 95 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and a 105 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. That would make him a strong platoon option and late defensive replacement.

In his career, he he has been strong coming off the bench hitting .286/.389/.494 in 77 career games entering the game as substitute. With the Mets, we have also seen him have the penchant for a clutch late inning homer:

Looking at what Frazier has provided the Mets and his positive presence in the clubhouse, he is someone who merits consideration. Seeing what he could provide the team in 2021, he does deserve a closer look from this front office.

That said, he is still 35 and still in decline. Because of that, he really doesn’t merit anything beyond a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. If he performs well then, he should get a role on the Opening Day roster. If not, he can certainly go down to Syracuse as depth. That is, if he is willing to do so.

Overall, whether fans like it or not, Frazier could make a positive contribution to the Mets in 2021. However, that would only be in a very limited role, one which he has been unaccustomed for much of his career. All told, if he’s willing to accept a minor league deal to return and to stay closer to home like he wants, it is something that could be mutually beneficial to both sides.

DH Or No DH, Mets Need a Third Baseman And Center Fielder

The position of the New York Mets seems to be defense only matters when you can have a designated hitter. If you have no DH, then you need to shoehorn in as many bats as you can into the lineup. In other words, the Mets are purposefully going to put out a sub-optimal defense and torpedo their pitching staff because of one position.

It’s beyond ridiculous.

Brandon Nimmo has averaged a -4 DRS in center over the past three seasons, and that is despite his not having played more than 350.1 innings at the position in any one year. Dominic Smith has averaged -2 DRS in left over the past three seasons despite not having played more than 219.0 innings in any season. J.D. Davis has averaged a -6 DRS at third over the past three seasons despite not having played more than 269.1 innings there in a season.

All told, these three players have proven themselves ill suited to handle the positions they are currently slated to play. What is maddening when you look at Nimmo and Smith is they are actually quite good at their real positions. Nimmo has a 5 DRS as a left fielder in his career, and Smith, after taking away his rookie season, has a 0 DRS as a first baseman.

It just seems bizarre to purposefully put these players in a position to purposefully fail. Nimmo belongs in left, Smith belongs at first, and Davis belongs on the bench. If you are a team operating responsibly, that is what you should unequivocally do.

Obviously, this is not taking into account Pete Alonso. Frankly, the Mets not addressing this logjam was their way of ignoring Alonso. In reality, the Mets are carrying three first baseman with him, Smith, and Davis. That’s three players for one position. That number grows to four when you look at Jose Martinez, who was signed to a minor league deal.

The Mets unwillingness to move one of those players this offseason has created a very real problem with this roster. Unless it is all a smokescreen, which it very well might, the actual plan is to put three first baseman on the field everyday and put a left fielder in center. They then hope this plan which always fails doesn’t fail again this time.

For some reason, that is a Sandy Alderson tactic. In the early years of Citi Field, we saw him jam Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy into the lineup. We also saw him try Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson in center rather than get a player who could actually go other there and handle the position on an everyday basis. At this point, you just wonder how much this was an accident and how much this is his actual plan.

Certainly, you can and should argue Alonso, Nimmo, and Smith need to play everyday. No one will argue with that proposition. However, they can’t do it all on the same roster. Center field is far too important of a defensive position.

You have to go back to 2012 and 2014 with the San Francisco Giants winning with Angel Pagan to find a team who won with a bad defensive center fielder. Before that, you have to go to Johnny Damon with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Before that, there isn’t publicly available DRS information. All told, in this century, there is really just three seasons teams won without an at least decent center fielder.

If you are operating a baseball team, you can’t look at purposefully punt center field defense. It’s even worse by putting a first baseman next to the center fielder in left. Then, to make sure you’ve done all you can do to screw things up, you throw a first baseman at third in front of the third baseman in left. It’s ridiculous.

Really, there is no way the Mets can go forward with this roster to begin the season. They need to add an actual third baseman and an actual center fielder. If one of Alonso or Smith has to sit, so be it. That’s the position the Mets put themselves in. If you need to move one of them in a deal to address a need, do it, but only so long as it is a good deal.

All told, it is poor planning and team building to purposefully put out a terrible defensive outfield. We saw in 2020 how much that can completely derail a season. We’ve seen it other times in Mets history. Whether or not there is a DH, the Mets still need to find everyday players at third and center.

Period.

Should Pete Alonso Be Guaranteed A Starting Job Over Dominic Smith And Brandon Nimmo?

With the lack of a universal DH, and the Mets pursuit of a center fielder, the discussion focuses around how the Mets will allocate playing time. In those discussions, people are usually debating the impact on Dominic Smith and Brandon Nimmo.

For some reason, the question is never presented as how will this affect Pete Alonso‘s playing time.

There are some reasons for this. First and foremost, Alonso is a right-handed bat which can balance out the lineup. Also, Alonso is tethered to first whereas Smith and Nimmo have played left.

Despite all the assumptions, if the Mets are going to be treated as a meritocracy where the best players play, and they should, there should be an honest analysis as to who should play. In that vein, let’s take a look at it.

A good starting point to look at is 2019. It makes sense because that’s Alonso’s Rollie year. It was also the year of Smith’s breakout and Nimmo’s neck injury. Taking all that into account, here’s a snapshot of the three players in various categories

Age

  • Nimmo 27
  • Alonso 26
  • Smith 25

WAR

  • Alonso 5.5
  • Smith 2.6
  • Nimmo 2.5

Games

  • Alonso 218
  • Smith 139
  • Nimmo 124

wRC+

  • Smith 148
  • Alonso 136
  • Nimmo 130

DRS

  • Nimmo (LF) 1
  • Smith (1B) -1
  • Smith (LF) -2
  • Alonso (1B) -7
  • Nimmo (CF) -8

Looking at these numbers, some things jump off on the page. In terms of defense, Alonso is just as bad at first, his only option, as Nimmo is in center. This means, at least defensively, Smith needs to be at first with Nimmo in LF.

An interesting and unexpected development was Smith has actually been the best hitter. When you look at his defense and offense, you’d be left with the conclusion he should be the Mets first baseman.

That could be the case even with Alonso having a healthy lead in WAR. Even if you extrapolate Smith’s and Nimmo’s WAR over the 218 games Alonso played, Alonso still holds a lead.

Of course, part of the reason why is Smith’s and Nimmo’s WAR have taken a hit due to them playing out of position. Although, that perspective could be viewed as explaining away the difference rather than embracing Alonso being better.

In terms of Alonso being better, he’s achieved things no Mets have before him. His 2019 season was special and record setting. Unfortunately, Alonso was unable to repeat that performance.

There are several reasons why. Those reasons may very well be related to COVID19. Players ramped up, shut down, and had to ramp up again. Players couldn’t access facilities. Chili Davis wasn’t in the dugout or clubhouse.

That said, while Alonso was clearly the best of the three in 2019, he was also the worst of the three in 2020. There are reasons why he was the best, and as noted the worst.

In that vein, Smith wasn’t given a real opportunity to play everyday until 2020. Nimmo was injured in 2019, and he re-emerged late in that season, and he showed in 2020, he could maintain that level of play.

Really, when you break it all down, there are a few things we can state with any clarity. Smith shouldn’t be in left, Nimmo shouldn’t be in center, and Alonso isn’t good at first. Nimmo is an on-base machine, and Alonso has unparalleled power.

Taking everything into account, perhaps the one thing that should be clear is of this trio, Nimmo is the only one who should be guaranteed a starting job. He’s good defensively in left, arguably the team’s best leadoff hitter, and he’s comparable offensively.

This means who plays should boil down between Alonso and Smith. This does not remotely have a clear-cut answer. Ultimately, how the Mets handle this decision will dictate how well the teams performs in 2021 and beyond.

Jose Martinez Was Not Signed To DH

The New York Mets made a bit of a surprise signing when they agreed to terms with Jose Martinez on a one year split contract. With the signing of Martinez, it led many to wonder why the Mets signed him, and there were explanations:

Balderdash

The Mets have Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso both battling for first base (again). They have already stated they prefer not to put Smith in LF. They also said the institution of the DH could be the impetus to sign a George Springer.

Looking at the respective numbers, you’re not going to bat Martinez over Smith or Alonso. In fact, based upon last year, the Mets aren’t likely to bat Martinez over J.D. Davis.

So, what’s happening here?

Well, some people desperately want there to be a universal DH, and as such, they will use anything to push the narrative. They’ll do it despite their already being an agreement for no universal DH and MLB informing teams there will be no universal DH in 2021.

Now, things change. Perhaps, there will be a new agreement for the universal DH on the eve of the season. We could see the Mets make some deals or see injuries which will elevate Martinez to the DH role.

However, make no mistake. The Mets didn’t sign Martinez to be their DH. The Mets are too well stocked at that position. They’re not benching better players and hitters for Martinez.

No, the Mets signed Martinez as needed depth. He could be a right-handed pinch hitter. He could be in the minors waiting for a trade or injury. It’s quite possible the Mets are working on some things, and they wanted Martinez as an insurance policy to permit them to make a deal.

There are many possible reasons the Mets signed Martinez. You can’t rule any of them out. Well, that’s not true. You can rule out the Mets signing Martinez as the DH.

George Springer Would Be Mets Best Outfielder

Organizations and fan bases have is they become very attached to their players. It’s understandable as teams have invested so much in a player, and a result, they’re invested in that player. As for fans, it’s their nature.

Now, this only becomes problematic when it stands in the way of true progress. Right now, that’s the position the Mets may be.

As Sandy Alderson discussed with Jon Heyman on his podcast, he doesn’t see George Springer as a hit unless there is a universal DH. Part of the reason is it further complicates the Dominic Smith/Pete Alonso problem.

Both players are All-Star caliber first baseman, but there is only one first base bag. Without a DH, the solution has been to put Smith in LF. Despite all the work Smith has put into it, he’s not a MLB caliber LF.

In his career, he’s a -7 DRS and -8 OAA in 470.1 innings in left. With his 26.0 ft/sec sprint speed, it’s unrealistic to expect him to improve much.

Smith in left is exacerbated because it also forces Brandon Nimmo to play out of position. Instead of playing left where he is a good fielder, he’s forced to play center where he’s a poor defender.

Really, when you look at the Mets roster, Nimmo and Michael Conforto are the only everyday caliber outfielders on the roster. When looking at them, neither can play center everyday, and really neither are as good as Springer.

Since 2017, Springer has a 16.2 WAR, 138 wRC+, and a 13 DRS. Conforto has an 11.9 WAR, 132 wRC+, and a -14 DRS. Nimmo has a 7.8 WAR, 136 wRC+, and a -12 DRS.

Keep in mind, Springer’s numbers include his playing CF. In center, Springer has a career 14 DRS and 3 OAA. He’s also maintained elite speed with a 28.2 ft/sec last year indicating his good play out there should continue.

Now, as indicated earlier, there is some push to not sign Springer because it displaces one of Smith or Alonso. To wit, we should take a look at the past two seasons. That probably works better because that also coincides with Conforto moving past his shoulder injury.

  • Springer – 8.6 WAR, 153 wRC+, 15 DRS
  • Conforto – 5.7 WAR, 134 wRC+, -3 DRS
  • Nimmo – 2.5 WAR, 130 wRC+, -5 DRS
  • Smith – 2.6 WAR, 149 wRC+, -3 DRS (OF), -1 DRS (1B)
  • Alonso – 5.5 WAR, 137 wRC+, -7 DRS

Now, there are some caveats to note here. Nimmo dealt with a neck injury much of 2019, but he’s proven he can return. Smith was largely a part time player in 2019 and missed time due to injury. Springer is the only player in his 30s, and he’s part of the Astros sign stealing scandal.

Putting those caveats aside, Springer would be the Mets best outfield option from an offensive and defensive standpoint. Really, when you break down the Mets roster further only Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom can stake a claim to being a better player than him.

When you break down this Mets roster, not one player should serve as an impediment to signing Springer. None of the current Mets can play center, and with the exception of Lindor, none of the current position players are better than Springer.

Yes, there are justifiable reasons to not sign him. There’s his contract demands, his age, and the heavy lifting the Mets need to do signing players to extensions. What isn’t a justifiable reason is Smith or Alonso.

As good as both players are, neither are as good as Springer right now. They’re also first baseman. Whether or not the Mets sign Springer, the organization still needs to find a center fielder, and they need to solve this conundrum.

Overall, Springer is the perfect fit for the Mets. He’s a good center fielder, and he’s a right-handed bat who can balance this heavy left-handed hitting lineup. No one on this current Mets roster should be used as an excuse to not pursue him.

Mets Make Themselves Real World Series Contenders With Francisco Lindor And Carlos Carrasco

In case you were skeptical this was indeed a new era of New York Mets baseball, the Mets just acquired Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians. With that, the Mets added a top five player in the game at short, and they added a top of the rotation caliber pitcher to pair with Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman.

When you add these players to a core with Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, James McCann, Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith. Whether or not the Mets add another starter, bullpen arm, third baseman, or center fielder, the Mets already have the pieces in place to be a true World Series contender.

Just think about it for a moment. Assuming Noah Syndergaard returns this season, this is currently the Mets rotation:

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Marcus Stroman
  4. Carlos Carrasco
  5. Steven Matz/David Peterson

Even if the Mets don’t go out there and sign a George Springer or add a third baseman, this is what the Mets lineup could look like during the course of the 2021 season:

  1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
  2. Michael Conforto, RF
  3. Pete Alonso, 1B
  4. Dominic Smith, LF
  5. Francisco Lindor, SS
  6. Jeff McNeil, 3B
  7. James McCann, C
  8. Luis Guillorme 2B

Sure, this Mets team could definitively stand to get better defensively in the outfield. That said, that infield defensive alignment is quite good, especially up the middle, and that lineup is as strong and deep as they come. This is a team who can go toe-to-toe with the defending division champion Atlanta Braves and the reigning World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. Right now, this is a great baseball team.

What’s even better is the Mets are not done with their offseason. They are still going to add more pieces. That could include Springer, and it could be a reliever like Brad Hand. There are are likely going to be depth pieces added beyond this group. When all is said and done, the Mets with Steve Cohen, Sandy Alderson, and Jared Porter have already done and will continue to do what Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen could never even dream of doing.

Today is a great day in Mets history. Today is just like the day the Mets acquired Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, and Mike Piazza. The Mets got a future Hall of Famer in his prime, and they completely changed the trajectory of the franchise both this year and in the years to come.

Lets Go Mets!

Dawn Of A Potential Mets/Dodgers Rivalry

The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers have an interesting history. For fans of the original Mets team, many of them were originally Dodgers fans.

That includes Fred Wilpon, who built a ballpark in testament to those Dodger teams. Of course, that was resented by younger more modern Mets fans who have zero recollection of those Brooklyn teams.

For Gen X fans and younger, the history of the Mets and Dodgers is quite different.

There was the Dodgers upsetting the 1988 Mets. That was a painful series highlighted by David Cone perhaps riling up the Dodgers, Davey Johnson leaving in Dwight Gooden too long with the ensuing Mike Scioscia homer, and Orel Hershisers virtuoso performance.

The 2006 Mets got some measure of a payback in the NLDS sweep. That was a total beatdown with former Dodgers Shawn Green and Jose Valentin relaying to former Dodger Paul Lo Duca who tagged out Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew at home plate.

Things between these two teams really ratcheted up in the 2015 NLDS. That all began with Chase Utley living up to his reputation as one of the dirtiest players ever with his tackling Ruben Tejada at second thereby breaking Tejada’s leg.

Utley would go on to cowardly duck the Mets in New York. Ultimately, the Mets won that series behind the brilliance of Jacob deGrom and the postseason heroics of Daniel Murphy.

The bad feelings of that series carried forward into the next season when Noah Syndergaard was ejected during a nationally televised game after throwing a pitch behind Utley. Utley would get the last laugh with Terry Collins being revered years later when the ejection video was released.

After that, things calmed down. That was due in large part to the Wilpons ineptitude taking the Mets out of contention. During that time, the Dodgers became the model franchise finally breaking through and winning the 2020 World Series.

Now, with Steve Cohen at the helm, things promise to be different.

With Cohen comes real financial heft which arguably surpasses what the Dodgers have. We’ve seen early on what that means with the Mets already signing Trevor May and James McCann as well as being in the market for George Springer and Tomoyuki Sugano.

But, it’s not just the financial strength. It’s also the scouting and analytics. The Dodgers have used that to identify players like Max Muncy and Justin Turner who have become relative stars. They’ve also developed an enviable pipeline of talent with young players like Gavin Lux and Will Smith.

The Mets have started heading in that direction by bringing back Sandy Alderson. They’ve also hired Jared Porter as GM and Zack Scott as Assistant GM.

Of course, the Mets have retained perhaps the best draft scouting with Mark Tramuta, Tommy Tanous, Drew Toussaint, et al. That group is responsible for great talent like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo, Brandon Nimmo, and Dominic Smith. That’s nothing to say of the talent still left in the system and traded away.

The Mets have the core, financial resources, burgeoning front office, and now the right ownership for the Mets to become a juggernaut like we haven’t seen from this franchise since the 1980s. They will very soon rival the Dodgers on and off the field.

That is going to lead to some more postseason run-ins. With that will be the heightening if tensions between these franchises which have already had their moments.

If the Mets make the right moves, we’ll see an epic postseason clash between these teams come October not just this year but in each of the ensuing seasons. The seeds are already there, and so, with more epic postseason series, we’ll see the makings of a bitter Mets/Dodgers rivalry.