New York was a team that made headlines during the offseason, mainly adding in Robinson Cano from Seattle, but also locking down their closer role with Edwin Diaz. They also just signed Jed Lowrie, and might be still a team that buys a surprise player as we inch closer to Spring Training. Cano is an older bat now, but still is an upgrade for the Mets. They already have a very good rotation, especially with Zack Wheeler showing his worth last season. This seems like a wide open NL East right now, as the Nationals still are solid, but Atlanta and Philadelphia have been increasing their win totals over the last few seasons. The Mets will always have to rely on health, which doesn’t necessarily bode well for them with their recent track record. The signing of Wilson Ramos will also give them an offensive catcher, which they have not had in years. There are a lot of moving pieces that need to connect for this offense to work, but overall the potential is there. Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo were the core to build around, and if Yoenis Cespedes can return healthy mid-year, this offense could be sneaky good in 2019 and adding in the rotation success, it would be interesting to see come the end of the year where they stand.
We know about Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but Zack Wheeler was extremely successful with a 3.84 xFIP and 3.31 ERA. His strikeouts were up, and he had an above average walk rate as well. He allowed 4% less hard-contact from his career norm, and being that third piece in this rotation would be tremendous for New York. With his velocity back up, you are looking at a truly healthy Wheeler. A lot of teams were looking at him as a trade partner, and now we see why. Projections have him putting up similar numbers, and as a number three in the rotation, those are above average numbers in comparison to the rest of the league’s number three starters.
Yoenis Cespedes is 33 years old, and has been dealing with nagging and somewhat severe injuries the last few seasons. It sounds like the Mets are planning to play the season without him as he underwent heel surgery last season. If he returned at all this season, the Mets would open back up a spot in the outfield, but they have enough offense to carry on without him. There is also a chance these injuries have finally caught up with Cespedes, and at his age we could be seeing the end of what was a strong outfielder. Cespedes is not coming back before the all-star break, but there is a chance he can return within a possible playoff run. If the Mets are out of it, New York is better off holding off on Cespedes’ return.