It may be hard to feel really good about the New York Mets right now. They haven’t blown us away with any offseason move. Not a single one has been worthy of an in-person press conference. They aren’t looking to win on the back pages with offseason moves, though. David Stearns is crafting together a plan for long-term success even if it’s at the risk of coming up well short of the ultimate goal in 2024.
What the Mets have successfully done is at least given the organization a shot at some best-case scenarios. They didn’t trade Pete Alonso, Edwin Diaz, or any other valuable piece making a lot of money. They aren’t punting away the season. They’re trying to build a team good enough where if enough goes right, they can compete.
These five best-case scenarios are what the Mets will need to swing their way in order to have the most successful 2024.
5) Best-case scenario: All of the young Mets players take a step or leap forward
The Mets are going to depend on young players even more in 2024. They hesitated at the start of last season. It’s easy to forget Francisco Alvarez wasn’t even on the Opening Day roster.
There is little concern about what Alvarez can offer them. But like all of the other kids, he does need to take a step or a full leap forward in his progress.
More so than Alvarez establishing himself as more than a power-hitting catcher who can call a good game, the Mets will rely on Brett Baty to show any signs of life. They can accept him not growing into an excellent defender at third base. Not showing up at the plate is where the worst-case scenario comes into play.
The Mets have no suitable answers at third base if Baty comes up short. Mark Vientos is regarded as an even worse defender. Joey Wendle on a regular basis won’t cut it either.
It’s those returning Baby Mets plus any others who may make their way to the majors that the team will depend on heavily. Even if they never hit above sixth in the lineup, that last third of the batting order needs to be more than a near automatic out.