Mets Have Improved, But How Much?
by John Jastremski
Feb 20, 2018 | 7328 views | 0 0 comments | 272 272 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The New York Mets enter the 2018 season in a much different place than they did a year ago.

A year ago, it seemed like the city was theirs for the taking.

Back-to-back trips to the postseason, a World Series appearances in 2015, talented young arms and a Yankee team on the other side of town that appeared a year away from contention.

Well, fast forward a year.

The Yankees were the darlings of baseball and made it to Game 7 of the ALCS, while the Mets’ season was nothing short of a nightmare.

Injuries, underperformance and a serious lack of depth contributed to a 70-92 record and a whole lot of questions for the team to answer heading into the offseason.

The Mets changed managers, but they also had a couple of glaring needs that absolutely needed to be handled.

Could the Mets, between November and Opening Day, add an outfielder, a third basemen, a reliever and a starting pitcher?

The answer to all of the above is “yes,” even though it took a little longer than anticipated due to the slow-moving free agent market, but all of the needs were addressed.

The Mets were able to bring back Jay Bruce on a team friendly three-year contract that was an absolute no-brainer.

And it was refreshing to see the Mets continue to add to the ball club after the Bruce deal.

In this offseason, the Mets added Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak, starter Jason Vargas and former Yankee third-basemen Todd Frazier.

On the surface, you cannot mock any of the four moves. As far as checking the boxes, they did their job.

Did they get the best possible fits for their ball club? Well, that’s highly debatable.

I would argue the Mets, considering their lack of team speed and the lack of a leadoff hitter, would have been better off bringing in either Eduardo Nunez or Josh Harrison as opposed to Todd Frazier.

I’m a Frazier fan and he will provide positives, but he wasn’t the best fit.

Anthony Swarzak is coming off a career year, but I wonder if he’s capable of duplicating that performance. The Mets could have brought in more proven commodities in Joe Smith and Bryan Shaw, who have both been more consistent throughout their career.

Jason Vargas is a fine backend of the rotation starter, but the Mets could have brought in a pitcher who potentially could have made more of a difference in Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn.

Aside from Jay Bruce, you can question every single move Mets GM Sandy Alderson made in the offseason.

He filled the needs on the roster and certainly improved the club, but the Mets lost over 90 games a year ago.

A lot went wrong, and the idea is to maximize the window with Syndergard, deGrom and Cespedes still under contract.

I expect the Mets to be a better team, but I have my doubts as to whether they have improved enough to be considered one of the five teams in the National League that make the playoffs.

That’s why it’s a good offseason, but far from a great offseason. Only a playoff season will validate these moves as great ones.

You can listen to me on Friday from 1 to 5:40 a.m. and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m, Sunday from 1 to 6 a.m., Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 & 1019 FM. You can also listen to me on Wednesday 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on CBS Sports Radio.
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