A wise man once said to be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. What if during this past offseason the New York Mets had been able to come to terms with all of their first choice player options? Would they be better off or were they better off that things turned out the way they did? Where can we go to find this out? You are traveling through another dimension, a middle ground between shadow and light, of science and superstition, and as vast as it is timeless. A signpost up ahead says you have just crossed over into... the New York Mets Twilight Zone.
New York Mets make a qualifying offer to Noah Syndergaard
November 16, 2021. Noah Syndergaard accepted the Mets qualifying offer of $18.4 million to remain with the team for the 2022 season, claiming that he hopes to finish his career with the Mets.
In reality, Syndergaard signed with the Angels. Coming off missing most of 2021 due to Tommy John Surgery, Syndergaard has lost 5 mph off his fastball was a shadow of the former dominating pitcher he had been. He was traded to the Phillies in mid season. Every time his team faced the Mets, Syndergaard would suddenly have a hang nail or tummy ache, anything so he didn't have to face his old team. The Mets would eventually fill his spot in the rotation by trading a few prospects to the Oakland Athletics for right handed pitcher Chris Bassitt.
NY Mets Twilight Zone score card: Noah Syndergaard in, Chris Bassitt out.
Steve Cohen thought he had a verbal agreement with Steven Matz
November 24, 2021. Mets owner Steve Cohen said that he had come to a verbal agreement with the agent for left handed pitcher Steven Matz and the only thing left to do is for him to sign the contract. Today, Matz signed his contract and he was welcomed back to the team where his career had begun.
In reality, Matz changed his mind and signed a four year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Steve Cohen was mad as heck, stating that he’d never seen such unprofessional behavior exhibited by an agent and that words and promises don’t seem to matter anymore. Matz didn't pitch that well and would eventually be relegated to the bullpen. Steve Cohen fixed the hole in the Mets pitching staff by signing Max Scherzer to a three year contract. Scherzer not only solidified the Mets starting rotation, they also now didn't have to face him had he gone to a rival like his hometown St. Louis Cardinals.
NY Mets Twilight Zone score card: Steven Matz in, Max Scherzer out.
New York Mets make a qualifying offer to Michael Conforto
November 30, 2021. Mets right fielder Michael Conforto signed his qualifying offer and will remain as the property of the Mets for the 2022 season. Plans are in place for him to remain as the team's every day right fielder. Although Conforto had a down year in 2021, the hope is that he can regain the form that saw him hit 33 HR in 2019. a .322 BA in 2020 and perhaps his second trip to the All Star Game.
In reality, Conforto turned down the offer because his agent, Scott Boras, told him take he would do better in free agency. While visions of the big bucks danced in his head, no legitimate offers were forthcoming and Conforto ended up sitting out the entire 22022 season. Mets owner Steve Cohen filled the spot in RF by signing Starling Marte to a four year contract.
NY Mets Twight Zone score card: Michael Conforto in, Starling Marte out.
Out with the old. In with the new.
In the NY Mets Twilight Zone we now have Michael Conforto, with nothing to show for 2022, in right field rather than Starling Marte (16 HR, 63 RBI, .292 BA). Noah Syndergaard pitching (10-10, 3.94 ERA) instead of Chris Bassitt (15-9, 3.42 ERA) and Steven Matz (5-3, 5.25 ERA) replacing Max Scherzer (11-5, 2.29 ERA). While the 2022 season may have ended too soon for most Mets fans, the fact of the matter if we had signed the original players we had wanted, there’s no way that team would come close to winning 101 regular season games. Maybe not even 90.
2022: New York Mets free agent Jacob deGrom (5-4, 3.08 ERA) signs with the Texas Rangers because he said that they have a plan to go to the World Series. They were 68-94 last year so good luck with that. The Mets signed Justin Verlander (18-4, 1.75 ERA, AL Cy Young Award) to take his spot on the pitching staff. If you learn only one thing here remember this: it's not nice to make Steve Cohen angry.
A wise man once said be careful what you ask for. You just might get it. Even here in NY Mets Twilight Zone.