By Ivan Morrobel
Published: October 18th, 2017
A 70-92 finish and the resignation of manager Terry Collins has the New York Mets wondering about their future. Two straight playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016 for the Mets had the fan base poised for a big win. However, injuries have plagued the franchise dramatically.
With four outstanding pitchers—Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Steven Matz—talent isn’t the issue for this club. All of these slingers can have ace-like performances on any given night, but the team’s inability to keep their key players on the field has been one of the few constants. Since their 2015 World Series loss to the Kansas City Royals, things have gone downhill.
Throughout this season, the Mets battled a chain reaction of negativity that affected them in horrendous ways. The team’s closer, Jeurys Familia, violated the MLB’s domestic violence policy, and he was suspended for the first 15 games. Yoenis Cespedes, after signing a four-year $110 million deal in the offseason, missed half of the season due to a hamstring injury. And after Syndergaard told reporters, “I think I know my body best,” the right-hander’s season was cut short to seven starts.
The Amazins were hit with a sense of reality midway through the season. They came to the realization that they weren’t going to compete, so they decided to part ways with Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, and reliever Addison Reed. Not only are they now looking to hire a new manager, but if next year is anything close to the 2017 season, they just might consider letting go of some core players. Rumors have also swirled that the team is going to hire a completely new training staff because of the number of players that landed on the disabled list.
Before the Mets decide to go on another run, they must figure out what their infield will look like for seasons to come. Infielder Jose Reyes is now an unrestricted free agent, but he is also turning 35. Asdrubal Cabrera has a club option to return in 2018, and while the team’s captain David Wright still has hopes of coming back from three back surgeries, he’s nowhere near the player he once was. The only infielder that the Mets are sure of is 21-year old rookie Amed Rosario, who is more than likely to be the team’s shortstop in subsequent years.
Despite their struggles, the Mets are still a threat when healthy. Outfielder Michael Conforto showed that he can help carry the offensive load after hitting 27 home runs and being named a National League All-Star for the first time in his young career, and deGrom has been the team’s most consistent starting pitcher while proving that he’s one of the best in the game, with a 45-32 record and 2.98 earned run average (ERA) since his arrival in 2014. The club has the pieces to overcome a disastrous season.
Cespedes, Conforto, and Rosario, along with their starting pitchers, will determine if the Mets have what it takes to compete again. There shouldn’t be any doubt in Flushing, but one thing’s for sure: if the Mets are far from themselves next season, look out for a fire sale at the trade deadline.