Mets free agent signings from 2021-2022 on the decline in year two
The New York Mets have gotten off to one of the more disappointing starts across baseball over the first month and a half of the regular season. While there are a few contributing factors to this, one of the more glaring areas of concern has been the decline of many of the players from their free-agent haul last season.
One of the most obvious points of concern has been the play of Eduardo Escobar since the beginning of last season. While he did have a scorching hot final month of the season for the Mets last year, his offensive struggles have continued into this season and he is now hitting way below the Mendoza line. The emergence of Brett Baty has also now cut into Esocbar's playing time, but at this point when he is receiving at-bats they are not very productive.
The Mets have received no significant contributions this season from their free agent signings during the 2021-2022 offseason
I believe the more surprising of all of the players from last year has been the sudden decline of Starling Marte. Marte was one of the Mets' bright spots last season both offensively as well as defensively, and right now he looks like a shell of the player we had seen last year.
Marte has been in a slump throughout the better part of the season so far and he has shown no signs of breaking out of it anytime soon. On the field, he also doesn't look as fluid as he did defensively last year, and you have to wonder if this is a sign of regression for the 34-year-old outfielder. For Mets fans, we sure hope not as Marte was turning himself into a bonafide star last year before getting injured in September.
The list doesn't stop there as outfielder Mark Canha has also been playing below expectations similar to the previous two players mentioned. Canha, who was expecting a breakout year with the bat after overcoming some health issues, hasn't played quite to the expectations he had set for himself back in Spring Training.
With two of the Mets' starting outfielders seemingly struggling mightily, it has equated to a dark hole in the Mets' lineup. Both Marte and Canha are barely hitting above the Mendoza line at this point in the season and it's hard to pinpoint what has gone so wrong for both players at this point in the season.
Lastly, I believe the jury is still out on Max Scherzer. I don't believe we have a large enough sample size similar to the other three players who are currently struggling to judge. However, Scherzer has had an uncharacteristically rough start to the season with his performance, as well as being handed a controversial 10-game suspension due to his pitching hand being deemed too sticky against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In two of five of Scherzer's starts, he has allowed 5 earned runs or more which can be concerning in a sense with his late-season struggles last year. Could a regression also be in play finally for the 38-year-old right-hander? Things don't look good for the Mets free agent class from last year right now and for this team to fulfill preseason expectations, performance will need to turn around quickly for all four.