Is the NL East wide open for the Miami Marlins? Part 1
By Neil Raymond
The NL East is the hardest division in MLB, but it will get a bit worse next season and that gives the Miami Marlins an opening. We have an elite rotation and if we fix our hitting and receive better luck we can contend. Free agency and aging will be hitting the New York Mets hard and the Atlanta Braves are getting affected as well. The Philadelphia Phillies are good but flawed and the Washington Nationals are rebuilding. The Miami Marlins have an opening and it’s just a matter of time before we take advantage of that.
The top of the NL East has an open spot for the Miami Marlins.
The New York Mets have a great owner in Steve Cohen. He genuinely wants to win and is spending money to do so. He’s an example for all owners in the Major Leagues. As much as he spends on the team however, he can’t control aging or performance. The Mets have some key free agents: ace Jacob deGrom, CF Brandon Nimmo and elite closer Edwin Diaz. It’s impossible to replace deGrom or Diaz with a comparable player considering just how good they are.
The problem is that even if they re-sign deGrom, there’s no guarantee he won’t decline considering he’s already in his mid-30’s. He’s also injury-prone and hasn’t thrown over 92 innings since 2019. Edwin Diaz has been very inconsistent until becoming the best closer in the game in his contract season. It’s hard to believe he’ll be as good next season. There’s a high chance he’s back to being inconsistent. He had a 5.59 ERA in 2019 and a 3.45 ERA last season, with sub-2.00 ERA’s sandwiched in between.
If the New York Mets let Nimmo walk, they’ll either need to play the declining 34 year old Starling Marte in CF or try to find a replacement in a weak CF market. There’s also the case of ace Max Scherzer and him being 38 years old. As great as he’s been, Father Time has been an unbeatable foe and at some point he’s going to claim Mad Max too. It’s hard to see a scenario where the New York Mets are as good in 2023 as they were in 2022.
The Miami Marlins may have a path to the playoffs next season, and the New York Mets about to become worse seems to be a big part of it. Steve Cohen can spend a lot again this off-season, but it’s doubtful that the team is going to get better with so many issues hitting them all at once.