The New York Mets need a lot more than Manny Machado to turn their franchise around in 2019.
It’s only natural New York Mets fans would dream about bringing Manny Machado to town next season. The soon-to-be free agent infielder is one of the most talented players in baseball and young enough to stick around for another decade. Alongside Bryce Harper, he’s one of the biggest nomads this upcoming winter.
I won’t discuss the possibility of bringing Harper to New York. The fit isn’t there. The Mets have Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo to build around. Jay Bruce will also be here until he creates some trade value or decides to spend the rest of his contract on the disabled list.
Keeping that in mind, I want to specifically discuss Machado playing for the team in Flushing. Without teasing too long, let me convey the point that he would not fix this team.
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There are few positions in sports that could turn a franchise around. In the NFL, a quarterback can help a team go from worst to first. In the NHL, a Hall of Fame goalie can get an average team to the finals. Over in the NBA, one star player can carry the Cleveland Cavaliers to the finals.
This doesn’t work in baseball.
The MLB is not built around a single player. The Houston Astros didn’t win the 2017 World Series because they had MVP Jose Altuve. They won with him and a bunch of other talented athletes on the roster.
If the Mets add Machado, sure, it would create excitement. However, I’m not convinced it makes them much better.
The Baltimore Orioles haven’t done much at all with Machado on the roster. Their overall team isn’t very good, but they are similar to the Mets in multiple ways. They rely on the home run ball and have very little speed to speak of. Sound familiar?
I have no doubt Machado would help the Mets win a few more games. But would a few games put them over the top?
This is a team barely playing better than the worst in the National League. It will take an army players to turn their fortunes around in one year.
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The New York Wilpons are much further than one star right-handed hitter away from becoming a perennial champion. Machado is a start, but far from a finishing touch.