Are 2022 Mets Really That Much Better Than Last Year?

I will preface this post by saying the Mets may not be done with major acquisitions — who knows, once the lockout is over, maybe they go out and sign Kris Bryant or swing a trade for a big starting pitcher. But assuming that doesn’t happen (which I don’t think it will)…

I am having a hard time getting excited about the 2022 Mets. I just don’t think they are that much better than the 2021 version, which, lest we forget, finished 77-85. And let me preface again that I said the same thing last year at this time while everybody was going crazy about the team, and I was right. So keep that in mind!

Obviously, much of the excitement is coming from the Max Scherzer signing. And yes, I am looking forward to the one-two punch of him and Jacob deGrom. But Scherzer turns 38 in July and ended his season with a dead arm in the playoffs. DeGrom ended his season at the All-Star break after a series of seemingly minor injuries culminated with a season-ending one, albeit after one of the best half seasons we have ever seen. So putting your eggs in their basket is risky.

The rest of the rotation is iffy, at best. Carlos Carrasco, who turns 34 next month, was awful in 2021. Taijuan Walker was an All-Star but finished terribly. But hey, at least he’s younger than 30 (29 in August)! And the bullpen is the usual crapshoot.

Then there are the other free agent signings. Starling Marte is definitely an upgrade in center. But he is 33 and his game is built on speed. Will those legs start slowing down in year four of the contract or year one? Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar (both also 33 years old)? Good bench depth, but they will be starters on this team. Are they really championship pieces? Are they better than J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto, whom they are basically replacing?

Just like last season, I once again feel the Mets need another big bat. The lineup as presently constructed will not scare many opposing pitchers. One more slugger could change that.

If the Mets go into the season with this roster, I think they will once again finish out of the running, probably around .500. Just because their payroll is high does not mean they spent the money wisely. But the Mets surprised me with the Scherzer signing; maybe they will surprise me again with a couple of big moves if and when the lockout ends to really solidify this team.

 

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