The Mets made the World Series in 2015 and the wild-card game in 2016 and apart from that, they have been lost in a sea of mediocrity for the last decade.
Until last year, when a strong second half had them briefly in wild-card contention last September.
Over the last few years, since that World Series season in 2015, their strength has primarily been in their starting rotation, particularly Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard . So what did they do this winter?
Why, go out and get a couple of starting pitchers. Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha join a rotation where deGrom and Syndergaard are the only long-term holdovers. Marcus Stroman, acquired from the Blue Jays last year, also returns. But will this continue to be a strength? Porcello and Wacha are mid-rotation guys, and there’s also Steven Matz. Matz and Syndergaard have struggled to stay healthy over the last couple of seasons, so what the Mets have done is acquire rotation depth, which is useful.
Offense? Well, the Mets do have last year’s N.L. Rookie of the Year (and HR champ) Pete Alonso, as well as Jeff McNeil, who was very good in his first full MLB season. J.D. Davis, who is probably very happy right now to have been traded to the Mets from the Astros, put together a solid .895 OPS in his first full season.
The Mets bullpen has a lot of question marks. Edwin Diaz was awful in 2019 after being acquired from the Mariners, so they’ll need for him to return to previous form. Or maybe Jeurys Familia, who was also awful last year, will. Or maybe Dellin Betances, who pitched in only one MLB game in 2019 coming off shoulder and lat injuries before injuring his Achilles during that one game will... You get the idea here, I presume.
Don’t get me wrong. The Mets have a good team. They are also on their second new manager since the end of last year, when Mickey Callaway was sent packing. Carlos Beltran was hired, then fired in the wake of the Astros cheating scandal. Luis Rojas, the second new guy, is well-respected in the game.
The Mets, though, often do things that get them noticed via the #LOLMets hashtag on Twitter. 2020 isn’t likely to be any different.
KEY ADDITIONS: Jake Marisnick, Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha, Dellin Betances, Chasen Shreve, Erasmo Ramirez, Edwin Nunez
KEY SUBTRACTIONS: Dilson Herrera, Rajai Davis, Todd Frazier, Joe Panik, Zack Wheeler, Juan Lagares, Ruben Tejada, Chris Flexen
The Cubs will face the Mets June 16-17-18 at Wrigley Field and August 28-29-30 in New York. The June series will be their first after the trip to London to face the Cardinals.