3 offseason moves that will make the Mets early National League favorites

Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two
Wild Card Series - San Diego Padres v New York Mets - Game Two / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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The Mets re-signing Brandon Nimmo helps the Mets lineup hold serve from 2022.

The mistake the Chicago Cubs made following their 2016 World Series triumph was letting their leadoff hitter, Dexter Fowler, walk in free agency. Fowler might not have worked out in St. Louis for the Cardinals, but Fowler left behind a huge hole on their roster, both in their lineup as a reliable table-setter atop the lineup, and as an above average center fielder.

The Cubs didn’t have that leadoff hitter that could make the offense gel and grind in the playoffs like they did when they ended their 108-year World Series drought as a result and the Cubs were the dynasty that never was.

The Mets cannot make that same mistake for 2023. Brandon Nimmo is one of the best leadoff hitters in all of baseball, and his ability to get on base and set the table is not common in the sport. It was apparent after watching last year that Starling Marte is the perfect No. 2 hitter and Jeff McNeil is the guy to protect Pete Alonso in the Mets lineup.

Marte had arguably his best season ever and McNeil won the batting title. Both Marte and McNeil appeared on National League MVP ballots in 2022 for a reason, and without Nimmo, the Mets lineup becomes less dangerous.

Oh, and did we forget the improvements Nimmo made to his center field defense in 2021 and 2022? He finished in the 89th and 90th percentiles in the last two years, respectively in outs above average. That was such a big challenge for him prior to 2021, and with the two years of success defensively, it makes it clear that Nimmo is a difference maker.

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