New York Mets Season Preview 2020

New York Mets

Coming off a strong end of the 2019 season, the New York Mets had to wait a little extra but are ready for the start of a 60-game regular season. Last year, the Mets made a run at the final wild card spot but ultimately finished short, with an 86-76 record.

It was a season that featured some memorable moments as well as some heartbreaking losses. In the end, Jacob deGrom won his second straight Cy Young, and Pete Alonso won Rookie of the Year with his record-setting 53 home runs.

Coaching Acquisitions

With the Mets moving on from Mickey Callaway, New York hired Carlos Beltran. Despite being involved heavily in the Houston Astros scandal, General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen stayed true to his plan and hired the former Met. However, after Beltran’s name appeared on the written report from MLB, the two sides decided to “part ways.”

That forced the Mets to hire a second manager. They promoted from within, hiring Luis Rojas. He previously held a position as the quality control coach and was in consideration earlier in the year. The Mets hired former starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner to be their pitching coach. They also moved first base coach Gary Disarcina to third base and hired Hensley Meulens as the bench coach.

Player Acquisitions

The Mets didn’t make any big moves for a superstar, but they acquired some depth to help their team. With the Mets lacking a quality fifth starter, the Mets signed both Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.

The plan was likely for Porcello, the former AL Cy Young Award winner, to be the fifth starter with Wacha possibly shifting to the bullpen. However, after Noah Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this spring, the former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher moved into the rotation.

In the bullpen, the Mets signed Dellin Betances after the New York Yankee missed nearly the entire 2019 season with an Achilles injury. The deal was for one year, with a $10 million club option for 2021. He will likely move right to the back of the bullpen as the Mets hope both Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia can re-establish themselves as shutdown relievers.

The Mets also made an interesting move with the acquisition of Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros for a pair of minor leaguers. Marisnick was a part of the 2017 scandal with the Astros but is a replacement for former Gold Glove Award winner Juan Lagares.

The Mets inked Matt Adams to a minor league contract and avoided arbitration with about a dozen players including Michael Conforto, Syndergaard, and Brandon Nimmo.

Player Pool

Heading into the season with 60 spots open, the Mets originally selected 45 players to the team. They then went out and signed six free agents over the next 24 hours, making their total 51 players. On July 13th the Mets added seven more players, bringing their total to 58 players.

In the bullpen with 30 man rosters available, Diaz, Familia, Betances, and Seth Lugo are locks. Robert Gsellman provides the Mets with a long-man and Justin Wilson had a solid 2019 season. With a few spots left, it will be interesting to see how many left-handlers the Mets go with now with the new three-batter minimum.

Brad Brach also returned after joining the Mets last August. Jared Hughes was phenomenal in 2018 and will definitely get a chance in summer camp to fight for a bullpen spot along with 2019 holdovers Tyler Bashlor, Drew Smith, Walker Lockett, Corey Oswalt, Daniel Zamora, and newcomers Erasmo Ramirez and Chasen Shreve.

Returning Stars

For Alonso in his second season, expectations are high. He hit 53 home runs and drove in 120 runs after he was nearly left off the Opening Day roster in 2019. His bat in the middle of the lineup — along with a potentially healthy Yoenis Cespedes — could give the Mets two of the most powerful hitters in the entire league.

On the mound, deGrom will be chasing his third straight Cy Young Award. There has not been a pitcher to win three straight Cy Young Awards since 2002, when Randy Johnson won his fourth in a row. deGrom will get 12-13 starts and may not have any limits for his Opening Day start on July 24 against the Atlanta Braves.

Mets Lineup

1. Brandon Nimmo CF
2. Jeff McNeil 3B
3. Pete Alonso 1B
4. Michael Conforto RF
5. Yoenis Cespedes DH
6. Robinson Cano 2B                                                                                                 7. J.D. Davis LF                                                                                                         8. 8. Wilson Ramos C
9. Amed Rosario SS

That leads to a strong bench consisting of mainly Dominic Smith, Marisnick, and Tomas Nido. Jed Lowrie has not shown he can remain healthy, but he would likely play if his knee improves. If not, it would open the door for some other players like Eduardo Nunez, Luis Guillorme, Rene Rivera, Adams, Ryan Cordell, Jarrett Parker, and Melky Cabrera.

Expectations

This season will be very important to show what direction the Mets are going. They have peaked and dipped over the last decade but have one of the most talented rosters in the league. The schedule will be a challenge, though, with opponents only in the NL and AL East.

Up for Sale

It has not been any secret that the Wilpons are opening to selling the team. A deal can be announced at any time as billionaire Steven Cohen seems to be the favorite to buy the team. However, pop star Jennifer Lopez and her husband, Alex Rodriguez, have shown interest, as have five other suitors.

The Wilpons and Cohens were close to a deal earlier this year, but it ended up falling through after both sides could not reach an agreement. The Wilpons wanted to keep control of the Mets television network, SNY. Any potential buyer would surely want SNY to be part of the purchase.

Could a potential Mets sale further shake up the front office and coaching staff?

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