There are a lot of similarities between last offseason and the current one we’re experiencing. The New York Mets were aggressive both times to similar lengths. Early and often, they pounced.
The 2021-2022 offseason had the pre-lockout additions of three bats and an ace. This offseason, we’ve seen the Mets focus more on replacing players who departed in free agency.
Although they have a chance to add more before Opening Day, the battle has already begun. Which offseason will turn out to be the better one?
The case for the Mets 2021-2022 offseason being the better one
Last winter changed the direction of the Mets franchise. Steve Cohen officially arrived. The signing of Max Scherzer was a game-changer fans wouldn’t have ever thought was a realistic possibility. Add in the three bats, Adam Ottavino, and the Chris Bassitt trade, the Mets built themselves an impressively better roster in one winter.
Of note, all of the additions the Mets did make last offseason were short-term deals. Ottavino already went back into free agency and returned. Bassitt is gone while the bats either have options on their 2024 contracts or are signed up for three more years (Starling Marte).
There was never anything other than the fans’ desire for the Mets to sign Carlos Correa in his first trip into free agency. The offseason was brisk with only November and the final weeks of March for anything to happen. You think you’re bored now without baseball, remember what it was like a year ago when we weren’t even getting transactions.
The case for the Mets 2022-2023 offseason being the better one
We haven’t played a game yet, but this offseason does have a different vibe. Last year was about getting better immediately. This winter, the Mets made some longer additions. Extending Edwin Diaz and then making sure Brandon Nimmo didn’t leave were the two bigger picture signings the team made.
In addition to those deals, the Mets brought back Ottavino and signed David Robertson for a season. Each of their starting pitchers that hit the open market were replaced with Justin Verlander being the most notable and expensive.
The Mets look very similar to last year with the younger players nearer to regular action. If the team had successfully signed Correa, and done so without injury concerns, there is little doubt how the 2022-2023 offseason would have blown last winter out of the water. Instead, it’s a much closer battle.
More minor moves, like adding Omar Narvaez behind the plate and ditching James McCann, help the case of the 2022-2023 offseason further. It does seem like more important boxes were checked off for this offseason with the one remaining doubt being whether they changed enough. Let's not forget last winter included a future Mets roster with Robinson Cano on it.
Outside of an epic failure from someone like Justin Verlander, it does seem like this ongoing offseason is actually the better one despite the lack of differences. The Mets had the luxury of building upon what they already had, a 101-win ball club.