The 2023 season did not play out the way any New York Mets fan envisioned. The team entered the season expecting to compete for the NL East and hopefully win the World Series. A June collapse forced the Mets into being sellers at the trade deadline, and might have changed the direction of the franchise. Instead of being a win-now team, the Mets are a franchise in limbo.
It's been a very slow offseason in Flushing while other big market teams have been extremely active. The Dodgers got Shohei Ohtani and appear to be nowhere close to stopping. The Yankees got Juan Soto. The Phillies re-signed Aaron Nola. Even small market teams like the Diamondbacks have been active as they traded for Eugenio Suarez and signed Eduardo Rodriguez.
The biggest move the Mets have made thus far is signing Luis Severino. Yes, the same Severino who had an ERA approaching 7.00 last season. There's still plenty of time left in the offseason and several big names available both in free agency and on the trade market. Still, it's hard not to think about the Mets potentially punting in 2024 and playing for 2025 and beyond.
The NY Mets are punting in 2024 because they don't appear to be interested in any big-name player not named Yoshinobu Yamamoto
The top priority for this Mets team seems to be Yoshinobu Yamamoto and for good reason. He looks like a frontline starter who'd fill a major need for this Mets team and is just 25 years old. There's a reason half the league is in on this guy. The problem is Yamamoto is the only guy the Mets seem to be connected to.
Even if the Mets land Yamamoto, they're still not a team many would pick to make the postseason. They'd still need to find another starter to add to the rotation. They'd need several relievers. They'd need at least one or two hitters.
It's possible the Mets pivot to another big-name starting pitcher if Yamamoto does sign elsewhere like Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell, but the Mets have not been connected much, if at all, with either starting pitcher.
This Yamamoto or bust attitude makes sense, but also shows that the Mets aren't quite focused on winning in 2024.