The New York Mets are going into the 2022 season with a lot of good faith from the fans and optimism. That’s because they’ve been one of the more active teams in improving their roster.
The lineup now has Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar in it. The rotation will feature Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt. They also added Adam Ottavino to the bullpen. All six are welcomed additions to the ball club.
However, if youth is what you were looking for, you will not find it with these five. Everyone is 33-years-old or over.
The Mets got better but they also got significantly older
When a team adds older players—and yes, 33 is old in the baseball world—some with hesitate to appreciate the move. I understand why. At 33, a lot of players begin to decline if they haven't already. Speaking from my own experience, it can happen much sooner. Anyone else need out there need to sit to put on their socks?
We’ve seen it and heard it plenty of times in the past. Why are the Mets signing these old guys? It’s a little different than bringing in Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, and many of the other veterans who sunk quickly on the Mets roster in past seasons. A 33-year-old in 2022 is vastly different from when two decades earlier. It’s also important to look at the kind of player they are.
Marte will lose a step or two during his time with the Mets. Speed is a big part of his game. We may wake up one day and see him moving a little slower. Canha and Escobar are signed to shorter deals. I wouldn’t worry about a stark decline while they’re playing for the Mets. The same is true for Bassitt who is under contract only through 2022. And let's also note that Ottavino is signed to a relatively cheap $4 million contract for a single season so if age is a problem, it won't last long.
Scherzer is an ace of a completely different colored eye. One of the game’s best pitchers over the last decade, he’s in New York to represent a change and help push the team over the top this season. He also had a ridiculous amount of money offered to him days before the lockout began and turning it down would have been a horrible look.
You may not instinctually like the increasing number of dad-bods on the Mets roster but I give you permission to enjoy it. These Mets know how to grow a beard and understand how to file their taxes. They have life experience and hopefully a good yoga regiment to keep them feeling no older than 33.