It’s so easy to look at the Mets’ offseason so far and shrug your shoulders when asked if they did enough to snap their streak of six consecutive losing seasons – the longest active losing streak in baseball.
The ultra-optimistic Met fan will point to rebound seasons by David Wright and Curtis Granderson as reasons for a return to relevancy in 2015. Others say that getting Matt Harvey back will have the same impact as adding a Jon Lester to the rotation.
The ultra-pessimistic Met fan will say that giving $21 million to a 36-year old Michael Cuddyer and sacrificing a first round pick, smells a lot like the Moises Alou fiasco and will probably yield the same results. They say a middle infield combination of Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores will spell doomsday for the rotation and kill any chance to best a .500 finish.
The hopeful see the Mets winning 90 games and advancing to the postseason. The downtrodden see another losing season that hinges on way too many “if” scenarios and not nearly enough certainty.
While I wish the Mets could have done more this offseason, I do believe we not only will snap our cold streak, but with a little luck we might even nudge our way into a wild card spot. Even the latest World Series betting lines are looking increasingly good for the Mets. I know that sounds insane to a lot of you, but keep an open mind and hear me out.
As I take a good hard look at the NL East as a whole, there’s a good argument that every team in the division got worse while we improved, even if the improvement was incremental.
I think we can all agree that the Braves and Phillies are now in full rebuild mode and will be battling for last place.
The Marlins have certainly made some noise, but have hey gotten any better? It’s debatable. You could say Dee Gordon was certainly an improvement at second base, but at what cost? Martin Prado is an upgrade over Casey McGehee, but it’s not as big an upgrade as you think. The Marlins lost two of their top three young pitchers for these upgrades in Andrew Heaney and Nathan Eovaldi. Can you imagine us trading Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard for upgrading shortstop from Ruben Tejada to Gordon, and right field from Chris Young to… to Marlon Byrd? That’s basically what they did.
The Nationals have done nothing this offseason and so far have lost a huge part of their offense in Adam LaRoche, plus they’ve lost Asdrubal Cabrera, Nate Schierholtz and Ross Detwiler. They traded for a minor league second basemen and signed about 6-7 players to minor league deals. That’s it. This team is significantly worse than last season’s version.
So back to the Mets. Yes, Cuddyer comes with a lot of risk but you can’t say he isn’t a significant upgrade over Chris Young. And even if just one of Wright or Granderson delivers a big bounce-back season, it’s still an improvement, right? And what of Zack Wheeler, Travis d’Arnaud, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores? Is it that much of a stretch to assume at least two of them will improve on their 2014 numbers? And yes, getting Harvey back is also a huge factor.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, this Mets team, as currently constructed, is not only headed for some definite improvement, but they’ve also taken a huge step forward within their division and that’s a fact you can’t ignore.
We are also blessed with some incredible depth in the high minors that can step in right away if help is needed. That hasn’t been the case for most of the last six years.
So for all these reasons I really believe we are well positioned for a very significant season in 2015 and you don’t have to look very hard to see why.