The New York Mets have had the most chaotic offseason in MLB history and that is not a hyperbole. The Mets have signed 10 players to Major League contracts this offseason, tying the 2020-2021 and 2006-2007 offseasons for most signings in team history.
The Mets have spent just under 500 million dollars this offseason, second most in Major League Baseball, only trailing their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees.
Steve Cohen stated when he took over as Mets owner that his goal is to win a World Series in 3 to 5 years and now that this is Year 3, the Mets owner has put all his eggs in the basket. The Mets payroll currently sits at 365 million dollars after tax payments according to Spotrac, which is by far the highest payroll in Major League history.
The biggest splash of the Mets offseason was supposed to be Carlos Correa, but after he failed his physical with the Mets, he opted to sign a new contract with the Minnesota Twins. Failing to sign Correa doesn’t mean the Mets failed this offseason, in fact, it was a huge success.
The Mets deserve an A this offseason despite not signing Carlos Correa because they are a better team than last season
Simply put, the Mets are a better team in 2023 then in 2022. The Mets front office decided to make upgrading the pitching staff their number one priority this offseason, and they did just that.
Billy Eppler and his staff decided to let Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, and Chris Bassitt sign with other teams but replaced those three starters with Justin Verlander, the 2022 AL Cy Young award winner, Kodai Senga, one of the best pitchers in Japan the past decade, and Jose Quintana, a veteran lefty who posted a 2.93 ERA a season ago and started game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series for the Cardinals.
Signing those three starters push David Peterson and Tylor Megill, two pitchers who have been above-average MLB pitchers in their brief careers, back to Triple-A, which gives the Mets outstanding starting pitching depth. The Mets starting rotation is very similar to last year but certainly has a higher ceiling.
The Mets have also drastically improved their bullpen in 2023. The Mets front office re-signed the best closer in baseball, Edwin Diaz, the day after the World Series ended and upgraded the bullpen around him. The Mets re-signed setup man Adam Ottavino while replacing Joely Rodriguez with Brooks Raley and Seth Lugo with David Robertson, two massive upgrades.
Billy Eppler’s strength is adding depth with real upside. The Mets general manager acquired intriguing arms in Elieser Hernandez, Taylor Saucedo, Zach Greene, Jimmy Yacabonis, Jeff Brigham, Denyi Reyes, and Zach Muckenhirn, all of who fit that profile.
Offensively, all nine of the Mets regular starters from 2022 return in 2023. Many expected the Mets to add a power bat to the lineup in 2023, but the Mets have clearly opted not to do that. Much of the criticism of the Mets offense is unfair, as they did lead the MLB in hits and score the fifth most runs in the in 2022.
The Mets did find marginal upgrades offensively, as Tommy Pham will take over as fourth outfielder and right-handed designated hitter ahead of the horrendous Darrin Ruf, and Omer Narvaez was signed to platoon with Tomas Nido, replacing James McCann who was traded to Baltimore. Danny Mendick was also signed as additional infield depth.
We can’t forget that the young kids, Brett Baty, Fransisco Alvarez, and Mark Vientos could all force their way onto the roster, potential even in starting roles, with big showings in spring training. All three have significant pop in their bats, which could fill that much-needed power bat void. Most World Series contenders have rookies playing significant roles, as seen by Micheal Harris in Atlanta and Jeremy Pena in Houston a season ago.
The Mets won 101 games in 2022 and have an even better roster in 2023. The upgrades may have been marginal and not with big names, but any time a roster that will win 100 games is assembled, that offseason deserves an A.