16 months removed from their World Series appearance that ended fatally with the Royals putting the dagger in the Mets’ heart by one thousand paper cuts, New York looks to rebound. Again.
However, not a lot has changed since that eventful series, and at what point does that become a bad thing? The core of the Mets’ roster are all in their 30’s. Their pitchers (Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz) are all still young, but severely injury prone.
If you look at the lineup that Terry Collins ran out during Game 3 of the 2015 World Series, the majority of the players would be in the lineup today if they weren’t injured. The rest was players that were pieced together that trade deadline. The only exception is Daniel Murphy who currently resides with the Washington Nationals.
This begs the inevitable question: at some point will Sandy Alderson pull the trigger on a block buster trade during the 2017 regular season?
If Alderson doesn’t do anything, the Mets might slide back to being a .500 team. Let’s face it, David Wright will never be a reliable 3rd basemen ever again. Curtis Granderson is 36 and is dealing with a lot of mileage. Yoenis Cespedes, who despite performing admirably last season, holding a slash of .280/.354/.530 is 31. And who can forget 29 year-old outfielder Jay Bruce who was acquired at last season’s trade deadline, is simply a fill-in.
Point being, if the Mets are going to keep their championship window going past 2019, this would be the time to get a block buster deal done. They possess quite a bit of trade bait, but for how much longer?
New York has a star-studded pitching staff that’s led by Harvey (when healthy), Syndergaard, deGrom and Matz, all of whom have ace-like stuff. If you look at the best pitching rotations in the last decade and a half, New York’s is up their in the Top 4, alongside the 2003 Oakland A’s, 2007 Chicago Cubs and 2010 Philadelphia Phillies in terms of staff ERA.
Don’t get me wrong, the Mets have something special going. However, last year’s record of 90-72 doesn’t always punch your ticket to the postseason. Some years, 90 wins is enough to win the division, some years 90 wins wouldn’t be enough to make the playoffs.
The Mets need to figure out their identity this year, because accruing a big outfield bat to make up for current injuries won’t work every year. They should be thankful that it has worked as well as it has in the past.