The New York Mets landed one of the best pitchers in baseball in Max Scherzer. He was great for two teams last season. But last season is last season. He’s 37 and just got a 3-year deal worth $130 million.
At just under $44 million the Mets have set the market for their ace, Jacob deGrom who is a year away from free agency. He has an opt-out, and there’s little doubt he will take that. Why take a salary in the 30s when you can earn in the 40s? If he was out most of the year with an injury, that may be the only way he doesn’t take it. But that’s for another day.
The Mets recently signed infielder and probable third baseman, Eduardo Escobar to a 2-yr, $20 million deal. And then they signed Mark Canha, to a 2-yr deal worth $26.5 million. Before that, they signed Starling Marte, to a 4-yr, $78 million deal. So thinking like Sandy Alderson, they got two more outfielders and filled the hole at third base, so they’re done. In his mind. Not mine.
So now talking about the pitching staff, it’s a great one-two punch. Better than last season. After that, we’re talking about Taijuan Walker as the third starter, and then you fit in Tylor Megill and Hector Carrasco. That’s a good staff, but is it good enough to beat the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies?
The bullpen is a mess right now as well. I’m sure they will spend more money or trade Dominic Smith or Jeff McNeil to get one. But that still wouldn’t make them the team to beat. Not re-signing Aaron Loup will hurt no matter the replacement.
Scherzer’s deal has an opt-out after two years. Probably for the player, not the team. So the Mets have to win in the next two years. They entered into December with a new GM, a haphazard plan and they’re missing just one element. What can that be?
They don’t have a manager. If you want to convey what type of team you’re going to be, the manager is that position that lets you know that. But the Mets have done this in reverse. Have they gotten the types of players that their future manager is going to like? What manager wants to accept an already assembled team? Some will say but look at those two starting pitchers. Anybody can win with them. Me? I’m not so sure about that.