The New York Mets may still have a few moves to make before Opening Day 2021. As we currently sit a day after Super Bowl Sunday, the club has missed out on all of the big name free agents.
Trevor Bauer went to the Los Angeles Dodgers. George Springer made the trek to the Toronto Blue Jays. J.T. Realmuto rode back to join the Philadelphia Phillies. All three were big targets for the Mets at the start of the offseason. Each will suit up for another team in 2021.
Has this offseason been a disaster? Far from it. Although I think we can mostly agree that it hasn’t been perfect from a team-building standpoint, the club does look a whole lot better.
Where the Mets got better this winter
Going around the diamond, we see the Mets are bringing back a lot of familiar faces. Two changes that stand out are behind the plate and at shortstop.
James McCann is better at baseball than Wilson Ramos is at this stage of his career. Miles ahead defensively, it’s not impossible for him to replicate what Ramos did in 2019 when he was actually a good offensive player for the Mets.
Improving at catcher helps the team in more ways than one. Even if McCann’s bat reverts back to what he did with the Detroit Tigers, the club should be able to count on him to help the pitching staff feel a little more comfortable.
Even better than the McCann addition, the Mets got one of the best players in the league with their acquisition of Francisco Lindor. Basically a free agent addition a year early and at the cost of some young talent, Lindor was the big fish the Mets managed to reel in this offseason.
There’s no question Lindor helps the Mets become a better team. His bat, his glove, his leadership, and his everything else is a vast improvement over the questions we had with Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez.
As of now, the final area the Mets made some real strides with is their pitching staff. Carlos Carrasco is the biggest name they added. We can also include Marcus Stroman in there considering he missed all of 2020.
The rotation is certainly improved, but the real story is how much depth they have added. The Mets have more starting pitchers than they know what to do with. The same goes for relievers. They signed a lot of guys this offseason to minor league deals. Spring camp will include plenty of competitions. With someone constantly breathing down those players’ necks ready to swap in and take his job, we can only hope this affects them positively and gets the best out of them.
Where the Mets still need to improve
There’s no question defense remains a major issue for the Mets. The offense looks good and their pitching staff doesn’t have much room for adjustment. If there’s one thing they do need to improve upon, it’s the good fundies on the field.
Brandon Nimmo is currently set to be the team’s starting center fielder and J.D. Davis will play third base. Both have been on the proverbial trade block all winter long. Rumors about the Mets having an interest in upgrades have swirled but nothing has happened.
The Mets can probably get away with putting a Band-Aid at one of these positions whenever they take the field. A weakness at each, and with Dominic Smith possibly playing a lot of left field, puts them in a bit of a bind.
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This winter hasn’t gone as expected for the blue and orange. If the biggest complaint we can have about it is that two of their players stink at defense, things aren’t so bad.