It's official. Steve Cohen buys everyone he wants. The New York Mets signed SS Carlos Correa away from the San Francisco Giants for 12 years/$315 million. Sooo should we still stay patient as Kim Ng wants us to? I wrote about the New York Mets making some risky investments before, but let's get something out of the way first... I wish that the Miami Marlins had an owner like Steve Cohen, who spends on the team and actively tries to win. Flashy signings aside how do the New York Mets look?
The New York Mets had a busy off-season to say the least.
We won't know how any team will do until the 2023 season actually starts. We can however make projections and educated guesses. The New York Mets did very well in 2022. They almost won the division and finished with a 101-61 record and the top NL Wild Card. They then lost 2-1 to the San Diego Padres in the NL Wild Card round. There's no perfect way of projecting results, but let's use WAR. It does correlate strongly to actual team wins. You can see the 2022 Mets roster here and the 2023 roster here.
Let's start with players who are gone... SP Taijuan Walker (2.6 WAR), SP Jacob deGrom (1.4 WAR), SP Chris Bassitt (3.2 WAR), RP Seth Lugo (0.7 WAR), RP Joely Rodriguez (-0.2 WAR), RP Trevor Williams (1.4 WAR), RP Trevor May (-0.1 WAR), RP Mychal Givens (0.8 WAR). Eduardo Escobar is no longer a starter, so there goes his 1.2 WAR. That all adds up to 11.0 WAR or 11 wins.
Who is coming in? SP Justin Verlander, SP Jose Quintana, RP David Robertson, 3B Carlos Correa, SP Kodai Senga, RP Elieser Hernandez, RP Brooks Raley. We can't use their 2022 WAR as players don't typically repeat their seasons, so I'll use Fangraphs Steamer projections for 2023 (B-Ref doesn't have those). Eliezer: 0.5 WAR; Raley: 0.2 WAR; Senga: 2 WAR (no projection so I'm giving him an average one); Quintana: 2.0 WAR; Robertson: 0.3 WAR; Verlander: 4.2 WAR; Correa: 5.1 WAR. That's 14.3 WAR or 14 wins.
What about declines and improvements? Let's keep it simple... RF Starling Marte goes from 3.8 WAR to 2.8; CP Edwin Diaz from 3.2 to 1.4; LF Mark Canha from 2.5 to 2.0; SS Francisco Lindor from 5.4 to 4.6; 2B Jedd McNeil from 5.2 to 3.6; SP Max Scherzer from 5.2 to 4.3. So they go from 25.3 WAR to 18.7 WAR, which is roughly a loss of 6 wins. Remember this is all approximate.
So what do we get? Remember this is all approximate and results will likely be different. This was far from a perfect projection, using two different WAR systems is obviously flawed, but this is supposed to be just a quick approximate snapshot of a possible outcome. They end up with a loss of 3 wins. This means that the Mets might win 98 games instead of 101. The good news is that they won't be a 100 win team again, the bad news is that they win over 95 games. The Miami Marlins have a big hill to climb here. My personal opinion is that a 39 year old Verlander won't repeat his 2022 numbers and will be worse than 4.2 WAR; I also think that Scherzer will decline as well, considering his 145 innings in 2022 is one of his career lows, and his continued velocity decline going back to 2019. That might mean a few more lost games. Still, whether it's 98 or 95 wins the Mets are in a good position.