The New York Mets were able to ace their offseason when they paired Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom.
Perhaps they have finally won.
The Mets boast a pitching staff of 1-2 that has won five Cy Young Awards. They have huge expectations and a high payroll going into 2022, following their recent winter overhaul.
Scherzer stated that “This is a complete course for me,” during spring training in Florida. “I can’t wait.”
Buck Showalter, who is back in the Big Apple as manager of his fifth major league team, takes over from the bench.
Chris Bassitt, All-Star starter, joins deGrom & Scherzer in a stunning rotation. Starling Marte adds speed and power to outfield.
Bassitt was traded to Oakland, but Marte, Scherzer, Marte and outfielder Mark Canha all arrived as part of an offseason spending spree arranged by Billy Eppler.
Second-year owner Steve Cohen was so eager to win that he reached deep into his pockets to give nearly $260 million to five of the free agents. This winter bonanza saw the Mets have the second-largest roster in baseball (more than $250m) behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Francisco Lindor, shortstop, said that Steve has a mission. He signed a contract worth $341 million.
It’s not the first time New York has appeared flush on paper prior to opening day, regardless of its price tag.
The Mets have been underachieving lately and are coming off their fourth losing year in five years. They also finished 10th in the last 13 seasons. They have been to the playoffs twice in 15 seasons, but haven’t won a World Series title since 1986.
The competition is fierce atop NL East. Second-place Phillies have stepped up, and the World Series champion Braves look loaded. New York finished last season in first place for 103 days, which is the longest time a team has spent in that position.
Showalter stated, “This was a great club for quite some time last year.” “I told the players about people who were there before but aren’t here — those people are great baseball people. It’s amazing how fleeting it all can be.
It is crucial to keep Scherzer, deGrom, and Bassitt happy in a club that is constantly hampered by injuries.
In July, Scherzer will turn 38. DeGrom, 33, didn’t pitch last season after July 7, due to a sprained elbow. He seems to be fully recovered this spring. Bassitt, 33 years old, has made remarkable progress from last year’s frightening line drive to his face.
Robinson Cano, 39, is back after being suspended for second PED violation last season.
Showalter stated that he was “maybe one of the happiest boys in camp.” He’ll tell you straight away that his problems were self-inflicted. You can see that he has been away from these things this spring.
Cano could be a good fit at DH where the Mets have many options, including J.D. Davis, Dominic Smith, and Pete Alonso are the options for Cano.
“The way you view your bench with the DH will be completely different.” Showalter stated that if anyone could benefit from the rule change, it would be us.
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Lindor hopes to rebound from last season’s dreadful Mets debut at home plate, where the four-time All-Star batted a career-worst of.230.
James McCann, second baseman, and James McNeil, catcher, also hope to regain their swings after a disappointing lineup (37 HRs; 94 RBIs;.863 OPS last year).
The Mets added some notable newcomers to their roster, but they also lost a lot of firepower through free agency. Outfielder Michael Conforto and Javier Baez are gone, as well as accomplished starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman. They also lost veteran relievers Aaron Loup, Jeurys Familia.
Jeremy Hefner, the pitching coach, was the only one to be retained by Showalter’s 65-year-old staff. Hefner is a proven winner who has also managed the Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks as well as the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, and the Texas Rangers. Luis Rojas was let go in two losing seasons as Mets skipper.
BLAST FROM THE PASS
Cohen, a Mets long-time fan, shines a spotlight upon the franchise’s past since it was purchased in November 2020.
The Mets will unveil a Tom Seaver statue at Citi Field this season to celebrate Johan Santana’s 10th anniversary and retire Keith Hernandez’s No. 17 jersey (on July 9), and Old-Timers’ Day (on August 27) for first time since 1994.