After having a modest lead in the National League East just three weeks ago, the New York Mets had a disaster of a week – losing a series against the Cincinnati Reds, dropped three of four against the Miami Marlins, and getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies – pushing them back to third place in the division behind the Phillies and Atlanta Braves.
Even as the Mets maintained a modest lead, the cracks in the foundation were beginning to show. Injuries depleted their depth in the upper minors, New York had to go and acquire Rich Hill and Trevor Williams for potential starts, and the bats, supposedly the highlight of the team heading into the season, had numerous instances of going cold. All baseball teams have ebbs and flow throughout the season, but the New York Mets felt like a team teetering on the edge.
In the end, the Mets made a trade at the deadline, acquiring Javy Baez and Williams from Chicago, but that’s about it. A bullpen clamoring for another arm or two received nothing, a rotation that could use a difference-maker, someone like Jose Berrios, got their low-level adds, and a team that could’ve used two bats, one to start and maybe one to come off the bench for some life, got a good one, but not a great one.
With Jacob deGrom out an additional two weeks, Noah Syndergaard moving into the bullpen when he returns, the continuous slugging bats, and no real help on the way from the farm system, the Mets look on the verge of missing the playoffs. To make things worse, it’s not like the Phillies or Braves are world beaters, either, just teams who’ve done just enough at the deadline – Philadelphia adding Kyle Gibson from Texas, Atlanta adding a litany of good enough players – to leapfrog New York.
The place you have to point to is the front office. There’s blame for everyone really, Luis Rojas has struggled in his first full season as manager of the Mets, the players have all experienced poor seasons, especially on the hitting side. However, when you look at where the Mets were last season and where they are today, a proper offseason would’ve allowed the Mets to not only sustain when injuries hit but preserve and even strengthen their lead in the National League East.
I think it’s time to relitigate New York’s 2020 offseason and where it went wrong for the New York Mets.