The New York Mets made the playoffs only twice in the 2010s. In the 2020s, the organization needs to make the most of what’s left of an impressive starting pitching staff they built in the previous decade.
The quickest way to a championship in sports these days seems to require a team to take a few steps back. This decade, the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and others went into tank mode at some point then won a World Series. The New York Mets began the 2010s looking to rebuild the organization only to exit the decade with just two postseason appearances.
Overall, the 2010s were far from succesful. While they did make it to the World Series, the lack of a championship and continued winning will leave many feeling sour about the last ten seasons.
The biggest failure by this franchise, however, would be if they waste their greatest weapon. When the team turned a corner in 2015 and surprised us all with a trip to the World Series, they did so with one of the best rotations in baseball.
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If there’s one thing the Mets cannot do it’s waste how fortunate they were to have so many great starting pitchers on affordable deals.
In 2015, the highest-paid pitcher on the roster was Bartolo Colon at $11 million. Matt Harvey was still a year away from arbitration. As a second-year player, Jacob deGrom would have to wait even longer before becoming a millionaire.
The 2015 Mets had a starting rotation which by year’s end also included rookies Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. As an added bonus, Jon Niese pitched well for them on a reasonable deal. Everything came together at the right time for the boys in Flushing. There was hope the starting pitching was going to carry them for the next few seasons.
After losing to the Kansas City Royals in 2015, many believed they could get right back there again in 2016 and finish the year with a different ending.
Lady luck didn’t smile on the Mets. They were ousted in the Wild Card Game a year later and haven’t been back to the playoffs since.
Harvey has since left New York and fallen from grace. deGrom is locked up long-term and has become one of baseball’s best pitchers. Wasting his tenure would be an absolute travesty in Mets history.
Syndergaard and Matz may stick around for a few more years, but there’s no guarantee either will. Zack Wheeler missed out on all of the fun and won’t be back for more. In 2015 and 2016, he was sidelined with an injury.
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deGrom is now a two-time Cy Young winner which is rare enough let alone for it to occur in back-to-back seasons. In the 1970s, the Mets at least made it to a pair of World Series with Tom Seaver in the rotation. Much like then, there’s a good supporting cast. If none of these arms win a ring by the time they call it quits, the last decade would leave a big hole in the franchise’s history.