The New York Mets are coming off a 101-win season that went down to the wire. A majority of that roster is returning this year. The Mets division is one of the most competitive divisions in the league, and they likely need to win 100 or more games to win the division again.
Starting with who they lost, the Mets let Jacob deGrom walk in free agency, along with other rotation contributors Taijuan Walker and Chris Bassitt. While deGrom has not been on the field much the past few seasons, his impact when healthy is immeasurable.
Bassett and Walker are massive losses to the middle of that rotation that was a top-five group last season. They ranked 49th and 51st in fWAR, respectively.
To fill those holes, they signed the trio of reigning AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Japanese phenom Kodai Senga, and veteran lefty José Quintana. While Quintana will begin the season on the injured list, these additions and the existing depth will create one of the most dominant rotations in recent seasons.
The real question mark for this team is how well Senga adjusts to the majors. If he can make up the loss of Walker, then the team is more than capable of repeating.
The Mets also lost five bullpen arms last offseason, but they have more than enough depth to shore those losses. Even with that depth, they swung a trade for Brooks Raley, who dominated in limited innings with the Rays last season. They also signed David Robertson in free agency, who had a 2.40 ERA in 63.2 innings between the Cubs and Phillies.
All the critical parts of the Mets lineup that ranked top five in the league in scoring runs are returning. They swapped James McCann for Omar Narváez, which could be an upgrade. The bench itself is a little thin, especially until the return of Danny Mendick.
That lack of depth on the bench isn’t necessarily a significant issue. Top prospects Francisco Álvarez, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos are all starting the season in Triple-A to continue to get daily at-bats. If playing time did open up, the team could quickly call up any of these guys and they could have an impact immediately.
Until then, the Mets will let Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Brandon Nimmo lead this offense to what they hope is another 100+ win season.
The season-ending injury to closer Edwin Díaz is at the forefront of many fans’ minds, but the Mets likely are not too worried. The bullpen has the depth to handle a loss, but it lost the best reliever in baseball, so there will be some regression. Adding an arm midseason addresses the loss and is the likeliest course of action.
This team must win at least 100 games to make the playoffs. Thankfully for the Mets, the talent on the roster will let them do that.