Oh, Mets. Oh, oh, Mets. What on Earth are you doing?
The Mets went 74-88 last year, their fifth straight year of winning between 70 and 79 games. (At least they're consistent.)
So what have they done to try to change this predictability? They went and added outfielder Chris Young as a free agent. Young's OPS the last four years: .793, .751, .745, .659. (Young does love to hit Cubs pitching, though; career OPS against the Cubs, .864, one of his best against anyone.) Young is 30.
Then they signed former Yankee Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract. Granderson's OPS the last three years: .916, .811, .723. Granderson will turn 33 next month.
Then they signed Bartolo Colon. Yes, Colon had a good year in 2013. Very good: he finished sixth in Cy Young voting. But Colon is nearly 41, and he has been around so long that one of his teammates his rookie year was Orel Hershiser. (No, I am not making that up.)
Seriously, what are the Mets thinking? They are not on the cusp of contention, not any cusp that signing these sorts of veterans would help, and at least two of them appear to be on the verge of serious declines. Their "best" young player last year, Juan Lagares, had an OPS+ of 80 and doesn't really do anything that well (not much power, nor speed, and he struck out 96 times in 392 at-bats). They'll give catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud (acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade from the Blue Jays) their full-time catching job. He hit .202/.286/.263 in a small-sample-size 99 at-bats in 2013.
The rotation isn't any better (the Mets have Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan in camp), the bullpen is mediocre, and the bench is a mess.
The Mets might get out of that 70-79 win rut this year, but not in the direction they might like.
The Cubs have a three-game series with the Mets June 3-4-5 at Wrigley Field, and will visit New York's Citi Field for a four-game set August 15-16-17-18.