2022-23 MLB Offseason Recap: New York Mets

The 2022-23 offseason in Major League Baseball seemingly ran through New York City. Arguably the two best free agents this winter came from the two New York teams, both of whom have World Series aspirations. Much like the Yankees, the Mets were quite busy this winter in an attempt to stay on par with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Here’s how the Mets fared this winter.

Related: 2022-23 MLB Offseason Recap: Philadelphia Phillies

Notable Additions

The Mets needed to fill holes this winter, particularly in the starting rotation and bullpen. New York did just that in December, when the Mets inked right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga. Verlander is set to replace Jacob deGrom as the ace of the franchise, a year after winning his third Cy Young award. At the age of 39, Verlander recorded league-leading ERA (1.75) and WHIP (.83) figures, all while showcasing elite stuff with the Astros. New York also signed heralded Japanese right-hander Kodai Senga, who dominated hitters overseas with a hard, upper-90s heater and a plus “ghost” splitter.

Verlander and Senga were not the only two starters brought into Queens this winter. The Mets also signed José Quintana, who had an outstanding 2022 between Pittsburgh and St. Louis. Quintana was particularly stingy to hitters in the second half, as the 34-year-old recorded the fourth-lowest ERA (1.67) in the second half of last season (min. 50 IP).

For the bullpen, the Mets added a reliable veteran presence in David Robertson, and left-hander Brooks Raley via trade from the Rays. On the offensive side of things, catcher Omar Narváez is set to platoon with Tomas Nido for at least the start of the 2023 season. Outfielder Tommy Pham, meanwhile, should serve as a fourth outfielder and DH option against left-handed hitters.

Notable Subtractions

Much like the cross-town Yankees, the Mets were set to lose several key players after the conclusion of the 2022 campaign. Virtually all of the team’s 2022 bullpen hit the free agent market, as well as three-fifths of the rotation and Brandon Nimmo. New York did retain Nimmo, as well as Adam Ottavino and reigning NL Reliever of the Year Edwin Diaz. Still, the Mets will look different come 2023.

Staff ace Jacob deGrom opted to join the Texas Rangers, while Chris Bassitt (Blue Jays) and Taijuan Walker (Phillies) found new homes elsewhere. Curveball master Seth Lugo departed New York to join the Padres rotation, while swingman Trevor Williams will head to Washington alongside former Mets first-round pick Dominic Smith.

The Mets also opted to deal catcher James McCann to the Orioles. After cranking 25 home runs between 2019-20 with the White Sox, McCann failed to replicate those numbers in Queens. Among hitters with at least 400 plate appearances over the past two seasons, McCann ranked in the bottom 25 in OPS (.610).

A Recap

Despite the saga with Carlos Correa, the Mets did manage to have a solid offseason. New York did lose three key starters in free agency, but managed to bring back close to the same value with the signings of Verlander, Senga, and Quintana. In normal circumstances, having a 40-year-old pitcher as a staff ace is traditionally not the best strategy. However, very few pitchers looked as good as Verlander last season. Assuming he and Max Scherzer can hold up in 2023, the Mets should have one the league’s best rotations.

The Mets are also set to bring back virtually the same lineup from last season, one that was in the top-five in all of baseball.

With Atlanta and Philadelphia in the NL East, this will be far from an easy race to the MLB Playoffs in 2023. But with six spots and a re-aligned schedule, the Mets have a strong chance of making it back for the second straight season.

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