So, it’s been a while since I wrote anything about the Mets for Bat Flips and Nerds. So while the optimism is sky-high for Mets fans right now, why not write an article to summarise the madness that these last four months have been.
In the last four months: A Hedge-fund billionaire Mets fan with a net worth of $14 billion dollars had bought the team, signed James McCann, Trevor May and had traded for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco. But it’s not all about the signings, it’s about the general culture change for the New York Mets, and hiring Sandy Alderson to become Mets president was the first giant leap in the right direction. Sandy who under the dictatorial reign of Jeff and Fred Wilpon, took the 2015 Mets to a World Series and drafted many young staple Mets players such as Michael Conforto, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. The reason why this first move was such a huge leap in the right direction for the Mets was Sandy is an experienced baseball professional who will mentor GMs and Presidents of Baseball Operations to come while also sealing his stamp of approval on transactions.
In the weeks that followed Cohen’s purchase of the Mets, a President of Baseball Operations search was started and abandoned, and the newly opened GM role was filled (after Brodie Van Wagenen and most of his minions ‘resigned’ just hours after the finalisation of the purchase). Well-respected, analytically-driven Jared Porter was hired to be the New York Mets GM, while GM finalist Zack Scott was also hired as assistant GM. I remember watching Porter’s first press conference thinking this is refreshingly boring, gone are the days that GM’s selling the team to the fans using slogans such as ‘we will win now and we will win in the future’. As Mets fans, we can now be grateful that we have experienced people behind the scenes who will run this team well by making smart moves that benefit the organisation in the present and the future.
The Mets have been the most active team this offseason, making four major additions to the team so far:Embed from Getty Images
Trevor May: Since recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2017, May has become one of the better and most consistent relievers in baseball, pitching to a solid 3.19 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 113 innings pitched. Another important thing to note is that May’s FB velocity has steadily increased since 2018, averaging 96.7 MPH in 2020. May’s slider has also come a long way, averaging a 34.4% whiff rate in 2020. May is a fantastic addition to an always vulnerable Mets bullpen and should lock down the 7th inning.Embed from Getty Images
James McCann: Since being DFA’d by the Tigers in 2018, McCann has flourished with the White Sox, becoming one of the better catchers in MLB. McCann ranked eighth amongst average catchers for ‘strike rate’ and ranking in the 88th percentile for pitch framing according to Baseball Savant. While his offensive production has never been his strongest point, McCann provided a respectable .276/.334/.474 slash line while playing for the White Sox. Joining the Mets, McCann becomes the starting catcher backed up by Tomas Nido.Embed from Getty Images
Francisco Lindor: I still can’t believe that Lindor is a New York Mets. Nicknamed ‘Mr Smile’, Lindor is Top 10 MLB player and possibly the best shortstop in MLB (close with Trevor Story), the four-time All-Star has an outstanding .288/.347/.493 slash line in his five years with the Indians. Prior to last year, he had hit 30 home runs in his last 3 years and has won two gold gloves in his short but sweet career. It is safe to assume that the Mets will lock up Lindor long term, making him the face of the franchise for years to come.Embed from Getty Images
Carlos Carrasco: Some people don’t realise how good Carrasco is and to acquire him along with Lindor is an absolute steal, the 11-year MLB veteran has a career 3.77 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, striking out 1305 batters. Carrasco provides the Mets with rotation stability and a sure arm to rely on in big moments.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mets fans should be ecstatic for what 2021 brings, a face of the franchise shortstop, a well-respected GM and assistant who will bring a whole new wave of analytics to the Mets and finally, an owner who is one of us and will do whatever it takes to make the Mets succeed. So, crack open the beers, get those deckchairs out of the loft, and roll on Spring Training.
Alex Worth is one of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @AlexWorth17