New York Mets 2021 Season Preview

Story posted March 31, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Logan Bourandas

It’s been an offseason of change for the boys in blue and orange—change that started at the very top.

Steve Cohen purchased the Mets right before free agency started, ending the reign of the Wilpons (whom some Mets fans had very strong opinions about). Cohen hired Jared Porter to be his general manager, but that didn’t last long due to Porter’s harassment allegations against a female reporter, which the Mets were unaware of. Cohen was quick to fire Porter and hire assistant GM Zack Scott in his place, who had also been the runner-up to Porter for the job originally.

In terms of the Mets’ roster, Cohen went straight to work, and, despite not going after top dogs in free agency like J.T Realmuto, he added some cheaper quality options in James McCann and Trevor May. McCann is a major upgrade at catcher—the second best option in free agency behind Realmuto. May was also a top reliever on the market, adding to a bullpen that has found new ways to disappoint since 2016.

The big new additions, however, came via trade. Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco were brought in from Cleveland for young infielders such as Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez.

Lindor is in the final year of his contract, so the Mets resigning him will be crucial for the success of this trade. He’s been rumored to want just under $400 million, but with Cohen’s wallet being very deep, it’s a deal that could go through if the Mets want to get it done.

Carrasco, meanwhile, will open the season on the IL due to a hamstring injury, but when he returns, he will likely be second or third in the rotation.

The lineup is deeper than usual with the return of bats such as Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto. Conforto is also in a contract year, so a big season from him could lead to an even bigger payday.

Guys such as Dominic Smith and J.D Davis are names to watch. Both had great seasons at the plate last year, but they don’t have a true position in the field. With the lack of a DH this year, Smith will likely be forced into the outfield: a position of weakness for him. Davis could be put into a third base role with McNeil sliding into second due to the absence of the suspended Robinson Canó.

Jonathan Villar and Kevin Pillar both add depth to the lineup and were picked up on cheap deals in free agency.

The rotation still features two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and the return of Marcus Stroman, who opted out last season. Taijuan Walker was signed late in free agency and will likely be a mid-rotation contributor for the team. Joey Lucchesi was sent to the Mets in a trade with the Padres to be the fifth starter, replacing now-Blue Jay Steven Matz, who had been with the Mets since his rookie season in 2015.

The division is as tough as ever this year with the Braves keeping most of the same team from last year and the Phillies starting to figure out what a bullpen is. The Mets are starting to make a push back to the playoffs: a place they haven’t been to since 2016. If the bullpen, featuring Edwin Díaz and Trevor May, can hold up for a full season, the Mets can very well reach that goal of a playoff run.

 

Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email lxb5412@psu.edu.