It's safe to say expectations are dramatically lower for the New York Mets than they have been in any season of the Steve Cohen era thus far. That's what going 75-87 after entering the year with World Series expectations and selling many of the team's veterans for prospects will do.
The Mets have been active this season, but outside of a failed Yoshinobu Yamamoto pursuit, have been focused on short-term deals. The Mets plan on being somewhat competitive in 2024, but it's abundantly clear that they're more focused on the future of the team.
While expectations are undoubtedly lower and Mets fans wish the team did more this offseason to have a better shot in 2024, there are still three reasons why they're still worth watching this upcoming season.
1) Mets fans have a chance to watch their young prospects play regularly
All we heard last season when the Mets were struggling were cries for the Mets to "play the kids!" Well, now, it's time for the kids to show why fans were clamoring for them to play consistently.
The Ronny Mauricio injury is crushing, but the Mets still have several young players who appear to be locks to see consistent at-bats. Francisco Alvarez was by far the most impressive youngster the Mets had this past season, and will once again receive a bulk of the catching load. Brett Baty struggled mightily, but he'll be the everyday third baseman. Mark Vientos had his ups and downs, but with the Mets showing little to no interest in adding an external DH, he appears to be a lock to receive most of the playing time at DH.
This doesn't even include young prospects in the upper minors like Drew Gilbert, Luisangel Acuna, and Jett Williams who could all make their debut this season at some point. Sure, things look a bit bleak now, but won't they look much better if these guys come up and start to produce?
On the pitching side of things, the Mets don't have as many high-level prospects to speak of, but arms like Christian Scott, Mike Vasil, and even Blade Tidwell are all in the upper minors and not too far off from being MLB-ready.
The Mets giving these youngsters a chance to play regularly gives some hope for the future. If they struggle this season, the Mets know where they have holes on the roster. If they perform well, the Mets have future building blocks and potentially are fielding a team better than we expect.