Why are Mets Suddenly Considered Contenders?

The Mets just finished a season in which they were below .500 for a sixth straight year. Pretty much the same cast of characters will be back in 2015 with the same payroll restrictions. Yet suddenly everyone is talking about them as playoff contenders. We should not be buying into it, but we are. Is it a case of wishful thinking or are the Mets actually a decent team?

On one hand, it looks like the Mets will not have substantially better players next season than this season (unless you consider Michael Cuddyer a game changer, which you probably shouldn’t). Of course, Matt Harvey will be back, so that is a significant upgrade if he can pick up where he left off.

On the other hand, many players made great strides in 2014 that hopefully will carry over. Lucas Duda had a breakout year. Travis d’Arnaud looked really good in the second half. Juan Lagares established himself and will only get better. Jacob deGrom won the Rookie of the Year and Zack Wheeler had ace-like moments. The young guns in the bullpen were all solid. If most of these players continue to progress, the Mets are indeed a playoff team.

On yet a third hand (?), the two big bats on the team, David Wright and Curtis Granderson, were terrible. If they do not bounce back, the Mets have no chance. And young players often do not progress. This scenario would likely result in a seventh losing season.

There certainly is a lot of wishful thinking at play. This is going to be Year 5 of Sandy Alderson’s great rebuilding plan. All of the pieces seem to be in place. If the Mets cannot win now, it might never happen. So you cannot blame the ever-optimistic Mets fans for having high hopes.

Aside from all of that, the Mets do have some pretty darned good young talent on the team. They could all have career years and lead the Mets to the post-season. It has happened to scores of teams before. Why can’t it happen with the Mets in 2015?

2 thoughts on “Why are Mets Suddenly Considered Contenders?

  • November 17, 2014 at 9:21 am
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    Well, when you consider that all one has to do to contend is have the fifth-best record out of fifteen teams, the possibility is there. Combine the addition of Cuddyer to the return of Harvey, DeGrom for a whole season, the emergence of the bullpen, the solidification of Wheeler, and no significant losses from the roster, and one might say the glass is half full, but is half a glass enough?

  • December 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm
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    i’m a month late but here’s my two cents:

    as long as the mets are the way the are with the wilpons and their issues, i’ll probably always be skeptical until they prove me wrong. This year though i honestly feel a little less pessimistic. i think the things they’d need to have happen for a great season are much more realistic than they’ve been in a while, but it’s always a long shot for the mets, especially coming off another losing season

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