For as much suffering as there was at the end of the 2022 season, there is a positive way for New York Mets fans to spin things and feel a little better.
No, there’s not some magical reset button. This hasn’t all been a dream or some elaborate Criss Angel stunt. They really did win 101 games then lost in the first round.
We can look back at the 2022 Mets positively. More important than those fond memories is what happens next. Fortunately, a lot of the problems they had can still be fixed.
The Mets have weaknesses that can be fixed
The Mets didn’t make any massively bad trades or lock themselves into horrific contracts last offseason. They had their misses. Eduardo Escobar didn’t play all that well. It would have been nice to have already locked up Chris Bassitt or Jacob deGrom, too. We all still have our doubts about James McCann.
The offseason is the best opportunity to correct these mistakes. Unlike the 2021 campaign when they gave up Pete Crow-Armstrong to rent Javier Baez for two months plus Trevor Williams, the Mets didn’t give up all that much at the trade deadline. They will have another opportunity this offseason to rethink this approach of prospect hugging.
For every trade the Mets turned down, there will be even more to consider in the offseason. Plus, with free agency in play, Steve Cohen’s greatest superpower (his wallet) can shoot out from his hand like Wolverine’s claws. The disappointment of wasting a successful regular season will surely motivate him and Billy Eppler to work together closely on building a better team.
Exactly what this will include remains unknown. What the Mets will have now as opposed to in the middle of the season is a much wider net.
The Mets will have their pick of the litter for the DH role. Do they stick with Daniel Vogelbach as the left-handed part of a platoon or look for someone who isn’t only suited for part-time duties? Because the clock has already started to tick on Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos, they’ll feel less resistant to put these three on the Opening Day roster—if they don’t trade any of them first.
Eppler has taken a much different approach than Brodie Van Wagenen. He left the Mets with a mess to clean up. Eppler’s biggest mistakes were more on in-action or wrong minor choices.
This offseason will include some bigger decisions from whether or not deGrom will be a part of the team’s future to smaller yet important choices like who the heck they’ll have in their bullpen for 2023.
Eppler hasn’t been perfect but he also has yet to dig himself too deep into a hole. The disappointment of the ending to the 2022 season will take a while to go away. At least we know the issues the Mets have can be fixed.