By Owen Russell
On Oct. 3, the New York Mets played their last game of the season against the Atlanta Braves, the would-be World Series Champions. Losing that game, the Mets fell to 77-85, concluding another dismal season. While fans wondered whether or not the misery would continue into the offseason, the Mets’ front office had something brewing.
This past week the Mets have spent top dollar to retool their roster, spending hundreds of millions signing some of the biggest free agents in baseball. Among them was none larger than pitching ace Max Scherzer, who agreed to a three-year, 130 million dollar deal. Scherzer, 37, is arguably the sport’s most dominant pitcher, winning three Cy Young Awards since 2013. Most recently, Scherzer spent the last season pitching for the Washington Nationals, before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While Scherzer would go on to lose the World Series with LA, he continued his dominance leading the league in WHIP, and finishing third in the Cy Young voting. The addition of Scherzer is an exciting prospect for fans. With the hope that Mets star Jacob deGrom will stay healthy, the Mets could have the best one-two pitching punch in all of baseball.
Scherzer isn’t the only big name who will call New York his home this spring. Earlier in the week, outfielder Starling Marte agreed to a four-year, 78 million dollar contract. Marte is an electric player, having stolen 47 bases this past season while batting .310. Along with Marte, the Mets also signed infielders Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar.
With these recent three additions, it seems New York is going all-in on restructuring their offense. Last season, the Mets were one of the worst hitting teams in baseball, ranking 27th in total runs out of 30 teams.
It should be noted, however, that there are still a few loose ends for Steve Cohen and the Mets. Infielder Javier Báez, who was brought to Queens at the trade deadline to help spark some life into the lineup, has agreed to terms with the Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, fan-favorite Michael Conforto has not yet agreed to a contract, but it seems he has played his last game as a New York Met. Along with Báez and Conforto, pitcher Marcus Stroman is also looking for a new contract. While some argue that Stroman was the Met’s most consistent pitcher in the rotation, he seems to be the odd man out.
In a now-deleted tweet, Stroman claimed that the Mets didn’t have any interest in bringing him back.
“I know a source who says the front office would rather go for the other pitchers on the market,” tweeted Stroman, who later confirmed that the source was himself.
Barring an impending lockout, December could be a very interesting month for the Mets. Having already snagged some of the best free agents out there, owner Steve Cohen could still have a few tricks up his sleeve. While money talks and the Mets have certainly made some money moves, fans will have to wait until Opening Day to see how well these signings pan out.