From the start of their success onward, the New York Mets franchise has been a team more focused on pitching than power. They've had their share of sluggers. Some of the best Mets teams have run amuck with offense.
Traditionally, they've been much more pitching focused. Even in some lean years, there was a Cy Young winner on the roster. It's not a bad idea to build around the pitching. The 2024 Mets should make an exception.
The Mets will have a much more realistic chance at winning with offense in 2024
That's not to say the Mets should ignore massive improvements to the pitching staff. They need an ace. They could use another really good starter behind him. Let's not forget the bullpen is in disrepair.
David Stearns went to Harvard, not Hogwarts. It's going to take a lot more to improve the pitching in one offseason than it will to plug the holes in the lineup.
The Mets are already "deep" as far as options go for multiple roles next year. They have essentially three third base candidates if you want to include Mark Vientos. Several of their better prospects should be in the majors by midseason to offer their assistance as well. The pitching is much shallower even if you anticipate some help coming from the minors later on.
Where the Mets need help is in the center of their lineup. An outfielder with power. A solution at the DH spot even if it's more than a one-man job. Solving those two areas suddenly gives the Mets the dangerous lineup they never had in 2023.
It's much simpler for the Mets to find those answers and succeed than it will be to sign a bunch of starting pitchers and trade for another. Throwing money at the starting pitcher gap failed last year. It's impossible to predict what injuries may occur or which veterans have entered their twilight prematurely. The strategy worked for the Texas Rangers. It ate worms for the Mets.
Tougher than the rotation is fixing the bullpen entirely. The Mets should get started on that process while accepting it could take more than one winter to actually have a relief corps they'd bring home to mama. A good starting staff can become moot when your bullpen can't handle their job.
For just one year, winning on the backs of their bats seems more realistic for the Mets. Too much work needs to be done for the pitching staff to lead the way. Make it better but plan for the bats to be the greater strength. It’s closer to one already.