No team in MLB has experienced a more exciting offseason than the New York Mets. Despite lock-out concerns halting their momentum, New York has managed to overhaul their roster as they set their sights on a postseason run in 2022.
So far, the franchise has added superstar ace Max Scherzer, acquired additional All-Stars in Starling Marte and Chris Bassitt. And brought plus pieces Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and Adam Ottavino into the fold.
Even with this infusion of star talent, it also appears as though the club's front office is still actively pursuing upgrades in advance of New York's April 15th Opening Day.
The NY Mets have completely altered their franchise DNA by adding several proven winners this offseason.
While the on-field upgrades are obvious, the Mets have added an under-the-radar component to their 2022 roster: winning experience. I believe this will pay dividends as the franchise seeks their first playoff berth since their Wild Card game loss in 2016. Here's how:
Winning Experience: Max Scherzer
Rising Apple could write a season's worth of articles on Scherzer's career accolades. The future Hall-of-Fame pitcher led his Washington Nationals team to a World Series in 2019. He is a three-time Cy Young award winner. An eight-time MLB All-Star. And holds a dazzling career ERA of 3.16.
Less discussed, is the ace pitcher's winning history. It is no coincidence that Scherzer's teams have always had a reputation for winning. Scherzer began to take his star turn during a five-year stint with the Detroit Tigers. During that span, he posted a .701 winning percentage. Next, came a seven-year stretch with the NL East rival Nationals. His win percentage in DC? .662! Scherzer's most recent campaign came as a member of the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers. The ace took full advantage of his stellar supporting cast, finishing his LA tenure with a perfect 7-0 regular-season record.
As he prepares for his first season in Flushing, Scherzer holds a career .662 win percentage. Despite playing for his fifth career franchise, this mark ranks 16th all time. The Mets added a historically great winner this offseason.
Winning Experience: The Oakland Athletics Crew
On top of the Scherzer signing, New York managed to boost their roster by adding three players from a very successful Oakland A's team.
Unlike the Mets, Oakland has experienced no shortage of postseason success in recent years. Despite being hampered by a small market and a tough division featuring the top Houston Astros franchise, the Athletics have earned their way to the postseason three times in the past four seasons.
This team has a proven history of identifying and developing talent. This will benefit the Mets in the form of Marte, Bassitt, and Canha.
Bassitt, a solid pitcher for several seasons, lead all of baseball with a .750 win percentage as a starting pitcher last season. Canha has been a key cog in the A's recent success, posting a career win percentage of .520 over his seven seasons.
While Marte's tenure in Oakland was too brief to experience sustained winning, the All-Star OF was the best bat on the 2020 Miami Marlins team that shocked the world and earned a postseason berth. He was also a part of a Pirates squad that made the playoffs three straight seasons from 2013 to 2015.
Winning Experience: The Rest
The winning noteworthiness level's off after Scherzer and the Oakland additions. However, both Escobar and Ottavino's most recent MLB experience involved postseason success.
Ottavino was an important piece of Boston's bullpen as the Red Sox cruised to a 92-70 record in a stacked AL East. He is inconsistent. But he will nicely settle into the role left behind by the Jeurys Familia departure. The Sox advanced from the Wild Card game to the ALCS.
Escobar on the other hand, was an All-Star infielder on the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers. While his team was eliminated in the NLDS at the hands of the eventual champion Braves, Escobar has recent experience succeeding through the gauntlet of a 162 game regular season.
So what does this mean for the New York Mets? And how does it help the 2022 team? Simple! The Mets were able to transition away from several faces who propel the team to their expectations over the past decade. Taking their place, is a squad of veterans who have a winning history and expectations.
They know how to navigate the longest regular season in sports. And they know how to help their teams win.
Additionally, all of these players also have experience on baseball's biggest stage. If/when the Mets do reach their postseason goals, their newest additions will give them an added boost of firepower.