The New York Mets finished the 2023 season with a record of 75-87. They finished fourth in the NL East, a whopping 29 games back of first place Atlanta. The worst part about their NL East standing is that they were closer to the last place Nationals than they were to the third place Marlins.
This was a year that was supposed to see the Mets compete with Atlanta for the division title and see them make a run at a World Series title. Things fell apart early, and the Mets were sellers at the deadline.
As disappointing as this past season was, 2024 can be a whole lot better. The Mets have money to spend, a quality core to build around, and a trustworthy President of Baseball Operations to put it together. They might not enter the season as favorites, but a playoff push should be expected.
The Mets push for a postseason berth is helped by the leagues having three Wild Card spots, but they're still going to have a lot of trouble in a stacked NL East division. The Braves and Phillies aren't going anywhere, the Marlins improved drastically, and the Nationals even have some bright young pieces to watch for. Things will only get harder if their rivals land these four players.
NY Mets fans should fear the Philadelphia Phillies signing Josh Hader this offseason
Like the Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies entered this season with lofty expectations after surging their way to a World Series appearance in 2023. They fell short in spectacular fashion, losing in the NLCS to an 84-win Diamondbacks team that the Mets dominated in the regular season. While Mets fans certainly enjoyed that defeat, the loss could cause the Phillies to continue to remain aggressive this offseason.
The Phillies do have to worry about their rotation with Aaron Nola and Michael Lorenzen hitting free agency, but their main issue in recent years has been their bullpen. It was better in 2023 but we saw in the postseason Craig Kimbrel blow a couple of games in their NLCS loss.
The Phillies still lack the dominant late-game arm they can turn to at the end of games. Josh Hader would give them that arm. Hader was arguably the best closer in the game this past season, and rivals Edwin Diaz in the best closer in baseball conversation.
The Phillies replacing Kimbrel with Hader while having guys like Jose Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, and Seranthony Dominguez setting up would suddenly give them one of the best bullpens in the National League. That's something Mets fans would rather not see happen.