1 offseason (in)decision will come back to bite the Mets this season

New York Mets Introduce Justin Verlander
New York Mets Introduce Justin Verlander / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Mets should be kicking themselves in the groin for missed opportunities they had during this offseason. Perhaps they did need to bolster their offense with outside help in free agency.

What is shocking is with Steve Cohen's deep pockets, the Mets didn't upgrade at all at designated hitter, instead sticking with Daniel Vogelbach and a rotation of right-handed options to DH from last year.

Early returns suggest the Mets should have signed one of the many right-handed designated hitter options available this offseason.

Darin Ruf was not a factor for the Mets since coming over in a trade with the Giants last August. Ruf hit just .152 with 0 home runs a .413 OPS as a Met last year and has no vote of confidence from the fans. It didn't get any better this spring, as he hit .185 in 27 at-bats and is dealing with lingering wrist soreness. It resulted in him getting designated for assignment last week.

With the Mets optioning Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Danny Mendick to the minors, this left Ruf and Tim Locastro duking it out for the final roster spot, which Locastro won by default because of both Ruf's DFA and his speed (which by the way is useful this year because of the rule changes of larger bases). But Locastro doesn't provide nearly as much as a hitter as he does a baserunner.

So of course if the Mets want to maximize a payroll of over $300 million this offseason, they would have tried to get the best roster from 1 to 26, but did nothing.

They could have given potential Hall of Famer Nelson Cruz a chance to win a ring before he retires, but he goes to another World Series contender in the National League, the San Diego Padres.

J.D. Martinez, Adam Duvall, and Trey Mancini were options as well, but they signed with the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs, respectively. I begged them to upgrade, even after the first wave of free agency ended! They could have signed Luke Voit as well.

The real reason Ruf had a chance to make the team until the very end is Billy Eppler has to justify giving up prospects and J.D. Davis for his services, and that trade was one of the contributing causes of the Mets’ collapse last September of their division lead. General managers occasionally think they’re the smartest people in the room, and that trade was doomed from the start. But to his credit, Eppler admitted the trade didn't work.

But what made the exposition of this roster hole even worse is that instead of the Mets giving their youngsters a chance to shine in “the show”, we saw other teams doing just that. Jordan Walker made the St. Louis Cardinals’ Opening Day roster and is my pick for National League Rookie of the Year, while stud shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe made the Yankees' roster to start the season.

This offseason saw a lot of teams in the league start to catch up towards the league’s best, and the Mets had a clear weakness in their offense entering the offseason that remained unaddressed. That was a bad job on that front by the front office.

By the way, Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez had strong showings in Triple-A Syracuse's season opener on Friday. Baty laced a hard double, and Alvarez had two hits and even a stolen base.

The current roster does not currently consist of the 26 best healthy players in the organization, and that’s frightening.

Next. 5 positive Mets predictions for the 2023 season we all want to believe. dark