The New York Mets intended to contend in 2019 and haven’t undergone a rebuild for several seasons. If things don’t work out this year, they may want to start thinking about taking a few steps back to move forward.
The end of May 2019 was one of the strangest months in the history of the New York Mets franchise. The team was swept by the Miami Marlins (a team most consider to be the worst in MLB), have a controversy about the status of manager Mickey Callaway, and recently lost their already injured star Yoenis Cespedes to a freak ankle injury suffered at his farm.
Despite sweeping the pitiful Washington Nationals in four games at home, it feels like the season is slipping away. While it may be too early to panic and abandon ship, some serious issues in leadership and talent are clearly forming.
This whirlwind of a week begs the question: Is it time to consider a rebuild in New York?
Let’s take an in-depth look at the advantages of the Mets potentially shifting their focus to long-term success.
The if Mets did choose to punt of the 2019 season, they’re roster is full of valuable pieces the team could make available at the trade deadline. While serious questions loom about the current roster’s ability to win together, the team has a plethora of pitchers and position players that other teams would value highly.
A rebuild would not mean sacrificing the next decade in order to assemble a contending roster. If done correctly, the Mets could flip several of their current stars for top prospects who could be ready for a call-up in the near future.
During the 2018 offseason, Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen was aggressive in acquiring pieces to help the team win-now. While this was an exciting idea, it was not unique to the Mets. In fact, four of the five teams in the NL East also made moves to position themselves to win the division this season.
The NL East quickly became one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with the Mets, Phillies, Braves, and Nationals all focusing their attention on the present. Of all the teams in the division, only the Miami Marlins are actively looking toward the future.
While the NL East is a gauntlet in 2019, it appears as though it will weaken over time. The Phillies record signing of Bryce Harper will look worse and worse with every passing year. The Braves’ offense is poised for a bright future under Ronald Acuna Jr.and Ozzie Albies, but they have major questions about their pitching and bullpen. The Nationals also have a significant amount of money tied up on Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, and Patrick Corbin.
If the Mets were to use the next season or two to restock their farm system and develop young talent, the NL East could look significantly different when their window to win reopens.
Despite its considerable talent, the Mets roster is littered with an array of different ages. Jacob deGrom is now in his 30s, while Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler remain in their mid-20s. Robinson Cano is on the wrong side of 35 and Wilson Ramos is also over 30.
Right when the young pitchers and position players are entering their prime, the older wave of important pieces will be entering their twilight, thus limiting the team’s overall ceiling.
However, a rebuild would offer the team an opportunity to reset their timeline and recreate a significantly younger roster. While any contending team will require a healthy mix of veterans, getting more players on the same timeline would clearly be advantageous.
To reiterate, now is not the time for a total overhaul. There is still a chance the Mets’ talent shines through and helps to team return to a winning routine over the next few months. However, if the team continues to struggle and finds themselves out of the playoff race as the 2019 trade deadline approaches, the benefits of a long-term rebuild may be too great to pass up.
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Do you think a rebuild for the Mets is inevitable in the near future or is this roster closer to contention than we may think?