#2: Focus Specifically on Young Pitching
Despite a less-than-spectacular offense, the Marlins were able to crack the postseason field during the shortened 2020 season. They were even able to sweep a first-round series against the Chicago Cubs and Cy Young candidate Yu Darvish.
The key catalyst fueling this success came in the form of their starting pitching staff. The trio of Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, and Sixto Sanchez was undeniably their best unit. Players like Trevor Rodgers and Eliesser Hernandez (pre-injury) were also assets.
The Mets were once known for a similar roster construction. deGrom was setting the world on fire following a Rookie of the Year campaign. Noah Syndergaard was a flame-throwing prospect with a sky-high ceiling. Zack Wheeler had comparable stuff to his excellent teammates. Even Matt Harvey and Steven Matz added to the excitement. The team’s whole identity was based on their young rotation of future aces.
Fast forward a few seasons and the feel of the franchise has totally changed. deGrom is still the best pitcher in the world. However, he is already 32 years old. Syndergaard so coming off Tommy John’s surgery. Wheeler is on the rival Phillies. Matz has been an inconsistent mess. And I legitimately have no idea where Matt Harvey is. Maybe he’s at the back-end of the Royals’ bullpen. Maybe he is out of the league completely. Google can tell you for sure.
The Mets would do well to refocus on building their collection of young pitchers. Based on the end of the 2020 season, David Peterson is an excellent place to start. Prospect Matthew Allen is also loaming. But there isn’t much else to get excited about.
This is a great area for Cohen and company to focus. They don’t necessarily need to strictly acquire prospects. They can also target young players already in MLB via free agency or trades.