3 reasons the Mets fell so far behind the Phillies

How did the Phillies pass the Mets in superiority?
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Al Bello/GettyImages
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Phillies free agent signings have worked out astonishingly well, the Mets additions haven't been as great

Bryce Harper. Trea Turner. Zack Wheeler. The list of successful Phillies free agent pickups includes most of their roster. This isn’t a homegrown team. Other than Aaron Nola, nobody has been around all that long from the farm system. Their version of the Baby Mets known as The Daycare only fully came together this season to produce the numbers they have. For the most part, the Phillies have been carried by solid free agent pickups from other organizations.

Meanwhile, the Mets chose James McCann over J.T. Realmuto. They didn’t sign Kyle Schwarber. Nick Castellanos was never a real consideration. 

The Mets haven’t been a complete bust in free agency, but their problem may have been targeting older players. Starling Marte had an All-Star campaign in 2022 only to break down at the end of the year and look cracked through all of year two with the team. We know how things went with Max Scherzer in his second year.

More than numbers and what looks like a sloppily built roster with a below .200 slugger in the leadoff spot and a bunch of bad defenders all over the place, Philadelphia has added personalities that meshed. This includes moving on from Joe Girardi in 2022 and replacing him with bench coach Rob Thomson. The Phillies have had a completely different vibe ever since that move.

The Phillies haven’t been afraid to spend a lot now for the suffering in the future. The Mets have been careful about those never-ending contracts. They’ve gone high AAV over years which just hasn’t been effective.