There's still a month and a half left until the end of baseball's regular season, and fans of the New York Mets are all channeling Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong when he sang, "Wake me up when September ends."
The offseason can't come soon enough, not only to put an end to the months-long torture that Mets fans have endured, but to turn the page to a better future. Steve Cohen's commitment to winning can't be questioned, but unlike last offseason, this winter's moves need to be the correct ones.
We searched high and low throughout history and pop culture to find the "moves" that could get the Mets back on the right track this offseason. This year has been anything but fun, but hopefully these moves can give Mets fans a smile and a little dose of hope before next season.
Mets offseason move #1: The Queens Gambit
Yes, we know there's supposed to be an apostrophe in there, but the Flushing-based Mets are making it their own. In chess, the Queen's Gambit is an aggressive opening favored by attacking players that involves sacrificing a pawn to gain control of the board.
How does this relate to the Mets? Glad you asked. The team has struggled all year on offense, ranking 20th in the majors in runs scored per game, and much of that can be attributed to a lack of aggression at the plate.
No player on the Mets roster embodies that passiveness more than Daniel Vogelbach. Only two players in the majors swing at a lower percentage of first pitches, which is why last year's fan favorite acquisition has seen a massive dip in popularity with every grooved fastball he watches go by.
Vogelbach's contract is over at the end of this season, and the Mets front office should let him walk. Instead, bring in a player who puts the ball in play.
Lourdes Gurriel, Jr. is that player. The Diamondbacks left fielder is an aggressive contact hitter, ranking in the 91st percentile in whiff % according to baseballsavant.com. The 2023 All-Star can plug into the spot vacated by Mark Canha and Tommy Pham, and though he's not a burner on the basepaths, he also won't grind things to a halt the way Vogelbach does.
Gurriel's average is 21 points lower this year than his career average, but the advanced stats suggest that this is just an anomaly, as he ranks in the top quarter in the league in hard hit %. More importantly, swapping out Vogelbach for Gurriel would represent a change in the Mets' philosophy, signaling a shift to a more aggressive approach that is a better fit for today's game.
Gurriel is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and the Mets should make it a priority to sign him. Who knows, maybe Anya Taylor-Joy can throw out the first pitch next year?