Handing out some original awards to Mets players in 2023

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets
Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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The 2023 season was not kind to the New York Mets. Owner Steve Cohen spent the largest amount in baseball history on payroll, and yet his team was on the outside looking in as the playoffs got underway Tuesday. Further rubbing salt in the wound, the Braves, Phillies, and Marlins all reached the postseason from the N.L. East.

For the Mets, the focus now moves to next year. Buck Showalter will not return as manager, and David Stearns, who has officially been announced as the Mets' new president of baseball operations, will try to find Buck's replacement as his first order of business.

There are many questions surrounding what the Mets will look like when Opening Day 2024 rolls around, but we have months to answer them. For now, let's hand out some awards for the season that just ended.

The "Underappreciated Excellence" award goes to Francisco Lindor

There's not a player in baseball more consistently excellent, and yet constantly overlooked, than Francisco Lindor. The Mets' foundational shortstop just closed the book on another superb season, and there are few people outside of Flushing that even realize it.

Lindor finished with 31 homers and 31 stolen bases, knocking in 98 runs while turning in another exceptional season with the glove at short. He maintained his quality play even after the Mets effectively punted on the season at the trade deadline, and he was one of only 10 players to play in at least 160 games.