The Mets may be in store for a hefty package of prospects, and maybe, just maybe, things will start to trend in the right direction for the Mets. PHOTO/ New York Daily News
By Ivan Morrobel
Published: September 12th, 2018
The 2018 New York Mets began the month of May eight games above .500 (17-9) and appeared to be a legitimate threat in the National League (NL) as their new manager Mickey Callaway seemed to be leading the team in the right direction. But despite their hot start to the season, the team has been nothing short of abysmal for the second straight year.
At the conclusion of last season, the Mets were aware of their elite starting rotation, consisting of Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and a healthy Zack Wheeler, who hadn’t pitched a full season since 2014. Yet, their offense lacked depth and players who were able to protect their best position player, Yoenis Cespedes.
The Mets went on to sign two power hitters in third baseman Todd Frazier, and Jay Bruce, who they traded to the Cleveland Indians for a minor league relief pitcher in 2017. Although the organization addressed their offensive needs, the team has been plagued by the very same thing that has destroyed their hopes over the last couple of seasons, injuries.
Cespedes, who played 81 games last season, has only suited up for the Mets 38 times in 2018, and underwent season-ending surgery on both of his heels, which will keep him sidelined for eight to ten months. Bruce recently got back from the disabled list, and would be considered fortunate to play in 100 games this year. Then there’s Syndergaard and Frazier, who have both missed a significant amount of time this season, too.
As the team’s performance worsened over the course of this year, the Mets traded some familiar faces. Fan-favorite, 29-year-old Matt Harvey, was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Jeurys Familia was traded to the Oakland Athletics for what many would consider too little. And Asdrubal Cabrera, who had 18 home runs and 58 runs batted in during the first half of the season, was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nonetheless, the Mets have other issues that need to be addressed. Unfortunately, they have to consider replacing their general manager Sandy Alderson, who’s battling cancer. They’re also expected to begin the 2019 season without Cespedes, as he recovers from the aforementioned heel surgery. On a positive note, outfielder Brandon Nimmo appears to be more than capable of holding down Cespedes’ spot in the meantime. Outside of deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler, the team’s starting and relief pitching are questionable. However, should the Mets consider trading one of their aces to help bolster their farm system, which was ranked at 26th overall prior to the regular season, a change could be on the horizon.
Wheeler and deGrom have proven to be the best players on the Mets this season. In fact, the two were mentioned in numerous trade rumors prior to the trade deadline. Wheeler has shown teams that he’s capable of going deep into ballgames and has been one of the best starters post-All-Star break with an earned run average under two.
On the other hand, deGrom has become the best pitcher in baseball. While deGrom’s record appears unappealing because of how horrendous the Mets have played thus far, he’s been able to maintain a historic season. With an earned run average under two, more than 230 strikeouts and on the verge of throwing 200 innings, deGrom is in competition with no one.
All in all, 29 other MLB teams will be on the lookout for what the Mets have planned for deGrom, who has an extremely high chance of winning the NL Cy Young this season, and Wheeler, a starter that has been proven himself after he was sidelined due to injuries for two seasons. If the Mets are capable of moving at least one this upcoming offseason, they may be in store for a hefty package of prospects, and maybe, just maybe, things will start to trend in the right direction for the Mets.