Brodie Van Wagenen has shown no shyness when it comes to making moves in his brief tenure as the Mets’ GM and his boldness was further exemplified in the team’s introductory press conference for Wilson Ramos.
The GM went as to say that the Mets front office would argue that they “are the favorites in the division right now.”
Obviously, that is an extremely bold statement to make before the end of the 2018 calendar year and with many of the top free agents remaining on the open market.
As of now, FanGraphs does not have them as the favorites to win the division as the Washington Nationals are projected to win the National League East with a 91-71 record.
However, the site does project the Mets to reach the playoffs as the second NL Wild Card team with an 85-77 record. That would set them to face off with the St. Louis Cardinals (86-76) in the Wild Card Game, with Jacob deGrom likely facing off against Carlos Martinez or Miles Mikolas.
The Mets’ 85-win projection is impressive, though, given the fact the team is coming off their second straight losing season as they went 77-85 in 2018.
Calling themselves the favorites to win the division might be a little far-fetched, though, especially considering the additions made by the other teams in the NL East.
Furthermore, all of these teams are likely not done adding pieces, especially the Phillies who have interest in both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper with only a little bit over $82 million committed in payroll for next season.
The Braves actually have even fewer commitments for the 2019 season (just a hair over $78 million), which should give them some wiggle room to add some more pieces. That being said, they likely are not going to be major players in the Harper or Machado sweepstakes given the fact that they are not considered one of the bigger market teams.
Without even bringing back Bryce Harper, the Nationals are already projected to win more games than the Mets, and if they fail to retain him the team is almost certain to make more additions.
Obviously, the Mets have had a very impressive offseason by adding Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, and Jeurys Familia. They also have been without a doubt the most active buyer this offseason in what has largely been a quiet offseason outside of the NL East.
That being said, most outsiders would not call the Mets the favorites as of today. Being the favorites to win the division isn’t what matters, though. The only thing that matters is that the Mets win the division in 2019.