Optimistic Mets beat writer already predicts the team will be better in 2024

But does "better" mean 76 wins?
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

There are those who cover the New York Mets like a toga on a Roman Senator. Then there are those who button everything up like mesh armor on a Crusader. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com is closer to the latter. Well-respected, highly-regarded, I’ve always thought of him as the Jeff Passan of the Mets. Maybe it’s the friendly face smiling back on his social media profiles. He has the face of a neighbor who’d bring in your trash cans for the sake of saving you a trip.

DiComo might, however, be a little too friendly with his declaration about the 2024 Mets. In a recent story he published, DiComo talks about several Mets items including a prediction for next year. He thinks the Mets will win more games than they did in 2023.

Very possible, what rationale could lead DiComo down this path?

Anthony DiComo is feeling positive about the Mets in 2024

DiComo doesn’t dive too deeply into how this will happen. The potential for breakout seasons from Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and/or Mark Vientos is his main reason. Beyond the “ifs” he does mention their run-differential from last season which should have led to an 80-82 record according to the Pythagorean record.

This isn’t math class, though. This is recess. And those same reasons DiComo believes in the Mets could be exactly what backfires on them most.

The Mets continue to have three major roster holes. If they were to go out and sign a starting pitcher, left fielder, and legitimate DH bat, we’re cooking. But until that happens and we’re assured they pick the best options available, our inner-Grinch will take over how to feel about this team.

By now, a trio of Lucas Giolito, Eddie Rosario, and Justin Turner feels like the best-case scenario for the Mets to fill those three holes. As acceptable as they’d be and upgrades as they could end up becoming, it doesn’t answer the problems with the bullpen.

A good run differential without the record to show for it can often be because of bad relievers. How many 5-2 victories turn into 6-5 losses because of bullpens imploding?

So far, the Mets have added a bunch of wild cards to the bullpen. They’re either coming off of bad seasons or injuries. Many don’t have minor league options either. Which, if they did, would allow them an opportunity to mix and match them throughout the year until the right guys fit in. Instead, players like Jorge Lopez will be on the DFA bubble immediately if he doesn’t perform. By May, if he’s pitching to a 5.00+ ERA and not showing signs of recapturing his brief All-Star level, the team could be doomed.

David Stearns has either outsmarted everyone this offseason by not paying new relievers much or he has set them up to fall short again. The holiday spirit and optimism seems to have leaked into DiComo. Can the Mets really be better next season? Absolutely. 75 wins is a low bar. Have they shown us it? Not even close.