New York Mets: Reasons For Optimism – 2024 Edition

The smell of freshly cut grass surrounding the nostrils, the sound of cleats hitting concrete, and the crashes of balls off bats during batting practice mean only one thing: baseball is back.

Here is your 2024 New York Mets – Reasons For Optimism

It has been a fairly strange offseason for the Mets, one in which has received much criticism from a certain corner of fans who implore a spend spend spend mindset.

But owner Steve Cohen must have learned that throwing money at everyone available might not be the best thing to do.

When the Mets president of baseball operations, David Stearns, was officially announced, many fans were excited at the potential he held between his fingers, coming into the richest team in the sport from the small-market Milwaukee Brewers.

But a failed pursuit of Japanese superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who snubbed New York for Los Angeles, was the only time they really went after a high-end free agent.

But nonetheless, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the upcoming season.

Core remains strong

There is no doubt that the Mets still have one of the strongest position player cores in all of baseball, headlined by Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, who both put up stellar numbers in 2023, despite the team’s overall poor performance on the field.

These two are joined by Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, a (hopefully) healthy Starling Marte and rookie superstar in the making Francisco Alvarez.

The Mets also have two rookies, who disappointed in their first proper ‘cup of coffee’ at the major league level, Brett Baty and Mark Vientos, who are keen to prove they have what it takes.

Senga at the helm

One of the best stories from 2023 was the brilliant rookie season from Kodai Senga.

Senga pitched to an impressive 2.98 ERA over 29 starts, striking out 202 batters across 166.1 innings.

With Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer both playing on other teams now, the Japanese pitcher has quickly found himself as the ace of the rotation.

If he is going to step up into the role of ace, one thing Senga will need to work on is his road starts. In 2023, he pitched to a 3.68 ERA with a 1.40 WHIP on the road, compared to a 2.42 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP at Citi Field.

Can Sevy re-find his form?

One of the earliest moves for the Mets in the new Stearns era, was the signing of Luis Severino on a one-year/ $13 million deal.

Severino has battled injuries since 2019, and in 18 starts last season, he posted a 6.65 ERA and 1.65 WHIP for the Yankees.

But Sevy is optimistic that his offseason studying has helped correct the pitch-tipping issues that he believes caused him bother in the past few seasons.

No Mets fan can admit they don’t salivate at the thought of 2017/18 Severino pitching in orange and blue this year.

Severino is just one of the additions the front office has made to the 2024 rotation, which includes Sean Manaea, Adrian Houser and a full season of Jose Quintana.

Sugar is back baby!

One aspect that feels like an addition in itself is the return of Edwin Diaz to the Mets bullpen.

Diaz was a huge miss at the back end of the bullpen last year after tearing his ACL celebrating during the World Baseball Classic in March last year.

Diaz was electric in 2022, posting a 1.31 ERA over 62 innings, striking out 118 batters.

The return of “Sugar” strengthens the Mets bullpen two-fold, and we Mets fans can’t wait to hear Narco blasted at Citi Field once again.

Time to put 2023 behind us and move on

For the Mets, the 2023 season was an unprecedented disaster. Finishing fourth in the NL East with a 75-87 record was not expected after splashing out on Verlander, David Robertson, Quintana and Tommy Pham in the offseason.

All things said, despite not necessarily flashing the cash this offseason, something feels different this season. With new manager Carlos Mendoza at the helm, I truly believe that Stearns has built a championship team, and the roster will surprise doubters this season.

Photos of Carlos Mendoza by Enrique Rojas ESP, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso by Elsa / Getty Images and Luis Severino by Rich Storry / Getty Images

Alex Worth is the New York Mets correspondent for Bat Flips and Nerds, follow him on twitter @AlexWorth17

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