Mets Monday Morning GM: The build the bats, sign the arms theory

Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50)  poses for a
Feb 23, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (50) poses for a / Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

In the not too distant future, somewhere in time and space, Steve Cohen and his New York Mets pals won’t find themselves caught in a nasty place. This team has cautiously built up a World Series contending roster while holding onto its best prospects. How long can it last?

The outlook for the Mets in the future is actually pretty good. They have a bunch of young bats coming up. The pitchers are a bit more questionable. Is there a single Mets pitching prospect anyone is confident will be a stud?

The Mets have gotten away from the reputation of the franchise. The 1986 Mets were made of young arms they either drafted or traded for before making the majors. Meanwhile, the lineup had a bunch of grizzled veterans with a couple of younger dudes mixed in. An exact opposite approach could be the working theory in Queens right now.

The Mets can build their offense around young bats and use their spending power to buy pitchers

Paying Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander the ridiculous amount of money they are at their age for such a short period of time is masterful. What could go wrong? It doesn’t work and the owner loses some money. Big whoop!

It does seem to be the wisest way to attack a championship-caliber roster. Many of the best pitchers take years to develop. For whatever reason, it’s just the way things are. It usually take a couple of years before any starting pitcher is masterful. Jacob deGrom came along faster than most from his rookie year. However, he was also older than most rookies and didn’t turn into one of the best in the league until he spent four years in the league.

Continuing to pay the best free agent starting pitchers money isn’t a guarantee of anything. The pool to pick from is often limited to the pitchers on teams unwilling to pay big money. It’s still a wide enough Olympic-sized pool. Is it a good enough never-ending strategy for success? I have a tough time arguing against it when we see so many young hitters thrive early and so many pitchers reach their peak closer to 30 or older.

Within two years, the Mets could have a roster with Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos. Newer players like Kevin Parada, Alex Ramirez, and Jett Williams could be on the way, too. That’s a lot of bats with a high ceiling. Even if half of them fail, things are looking bright on that side of the ball.

We know Cohen will continually spend money. A free agent pitcher won’t dare sign a deal less than he thinks he’s worth if there is a belief he’ll be desired in New York.

Maybe not sustainable forever, it’ll be a fun ride to see how long the Mets can rotate the rotation with top free agent arms and the occasional trade piece. Having the bats to back it up, without having to look too far from home, could help give them an advantage greater than money: the single free agent need of signing pitchers.

We'll have to wait and see if this mystery science is the right way to build a winn

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