The New York Mets entered the 2017-18 offseason with many holes for Sandy Alderson to fill. The team went 70-92 in a season where we as fans had World Series expectations. Yoenis Cespedes had signed a 4-year $110 million dollar contract the prior offseason. 'The Flushing Five' rotation was still intact with Noah Syndergaard expected to lead the way. Nobody could have foreseen what had happened to the Mets in 2017.
This offseason feels eerily similar to that following 2017. The over-under odds for the Mets in 2023 was 93.5 wins coming off the 101-win season in 2022. Steve Cohen spent big on Diaz, Nimmo, Senga, and Verlander. All of the pieces were in place until Diaz suffered a season ending injury pitching in the World Baseball Classic. As we know, the Mets lost 87 games last year and Buck Showalter stepped down as manager. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? This begs the question, why will this offseason be more like 2017-18 than last year when Steve Cohen spent big?
1. Hiring of a rookie manager
The Mets following 2017 hired Mickey Callaway as their new manager. Callaway would step into the locker room just about 20 years younger than Collins and was considered more embracing of the analytics and front office collaboration. Callaway was also known as a great pitching mind coming over from Cleveland. He had re-invented arms such as Carlos Carrasco and Corey Kluber, turning them into top line starting pitchers.
Carlos Mendoza has been hired in part for similar priorities. He is just 43 years old compared to his predecessor, Showalter, who is closing in on age 70. Mendoza has been considered a great right-hand man to Yankees manager Aaron Boone in recent years, who has also grown through the analytical era. For David Stearns, the hope in hiring Mendoza is that his managerial style will be tied along with front office collaboration on lineup and pitching decisions, just as it was with Callaway.