3) NY Mets fans aren’t wrong to have lost faith in Starling Marte
The injury excuse applies to Starling Marte and yet this sort of explanation for why he underperformed so much in 2023 isn’t enough to make fans feel better. Missing time has become a pattern for him since joining the Mets. He missed a good part of the second half in 2022. Nearly half of 2023 was a wash because of it, too.
When he was available, Marte wasn’t the same caliber of player he was in year one. The only area where he continued to excel was with stolen bases. Larger bases and additional MLB rule changes assisted here most. He had 24 this year which, if healthy, should have led to him challenging for 50.
Marte will play next season at age 35 and a hefty $20.75 million payday. He’ll get the same in 2025 when his contract finally expires.
Many of us already realized by the time Marte would reach this stage of his career he’d probably be slowing down. It would have been more acceptable if the Mets were at least able to milk a little more out of him from the first half of the contract. After two seasons, they’re going to have to squeeze harder to turn this into a salvageable deal.
In his 86 games and 341 plate appearances, Marte batted .248/.301/.324 with 5 home runs and 28 RBI. His defensive WAR dropped from 0.1 in 2022 to -1.0.
What are the chances the Mets move on from Marte? Consider it incredibly slim. They committed to him financially a little too much. What we could see is a few more starts at the DH spot and maybe even a move to left field.