In a late-night shocker, Carlos Correa and the Mets agreed to a massive, 12-year deal with the Amazins’. The star shortstop will likely assume third base for a Mets team that was among the best last season in total offense. Heading into a critical 2023 season, have the Mets assembled the best lineup in all of baseball? It’s hard to argue that the Mets don’t.
A Look at Correa (Again)
We recapped Carlos Correa‘s production after the reported deal with the Giants, but we’ll do it again briefly. The 28-year-old is among the game’s best all-around hitters, in terms of production and consistency. Correa clubbed 48 home runs over the past two seasons, and his .820 OPS from 2020-2022 is fourth-best among all shortstops. The three ahead of Correa — Trea Turner, Corey Seager, and Xander Bogaerts — all received massive deals over the past 13 months. Even after a flagged physical, it’s not a shock that the former AL Rookie of the Year is set to receive a $300 million deal.
Correa possesses plus bat speed and discipline, tools that should age well. The new Mets can flash the glove, too. At shortstop, Correa ranked among the top 10% of all players in Outs Above Average from 2018-2021.
If healthy, Correa is the type of talent that can change any game in any instant. The addition of Correa does pose an interesting question: do the New York Mets have the best lineup in baseball?
Where the Mets Stand
If we were to do a little projection, here’s a look what the Mets’ lineup could look like on Opening Day:
- Brandon Nimmo (CF)
- Carlos Correa (3B)
- Francisco Lindor (SS)
- Pete Alonso (1B)
- Starling Marte (RF)
- Jeff McNeil (2B)
- Daniel Vogelbach/Eduardo Escobar (DH)
- Mark Canha (LF)
- Omar Narvaez/Tomas Nido (C)
A combination of the recently re-signed Nimmo and Correa at the top of the Mets’ lineup has the potential to be devastating for opposing pitchers. Nimmo had the 18th highest OBP (.367) in baseball last season, while Correa wasn’t far behind (.366). The duo should be able to set the table for Lindor and Alonso, both of whom ranked in the top five last season in RBIs. NL batting champion Jeff McNeil, alongside Starling Marte, Daniel Vogelbach, Eduardo Escobar, and Mark Canha all can do damage, as well.
The Mets had one of the game’s premier offenses in 2022. Last season, New York ranked second in total batting average (.259) & OBP (.332), and eighth in SLG (.412). With Correa in the fold, it’s hard to find a lineup that deep, and can realistically do damage either at the top or bottom of the lineup. San Diego has a legitimate argument, especially once Fernando Tatis Jr. returns from suspension. So do the Phillies and defending World Series champion Astros, the latter of which added Jose Abreu this winter.
The Mets had no choice but to spend this winter, in order to stay up to speed with the Braves and Phillies. Steve Cohen has done just that, and in the process, may have assembled a group that could be the best offense in the game. And if Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez — assuming the two return to AAA to start 2023 — knock on the door, New York may have even more depth to work with.