The Decade in Review: New York Mets

The Decade in Review: New York Mets

Mets

The Decade in Review: New York Mets

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The 2010’s wasn’t a superb decade for the New York Mets, who only made two playoff appearances and had just three winning seasons. There was a lot that happened, however, including the remarkable pennant run in 2015 and some record setting performances from players like Jacob deGrom and Pete Alonso. As the decade concludes today, let’s take a look back at the past 10 years in Mets’ history.

Sep 29, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) laughs as he watches a video tribute to him with teammates and fans after a game against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

All-Decade Team

Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud

There weren’t a ton of great catchers for the Mets in the 2010’s, but d’Arnaud was a bright spot at times.

First Base: Lucas Duda

Duda spent the better part of 8 years with the Mets, launching 125 home runs and becoming a key contributor on the 2015 pennant winner.

Second Base: Daniel Murphy

Murphy may have haunted the Mets once he left, but he was a steady presence for the first half of the decade, and his epic home run streak in the 2015 season made him a folk hero.

Shortstop: Ruben Tejada

Although he never quite lived up to the billing as Jose Reyes’ replacement, Tejada was a fine defender for the Mets and was revered after his leg was broken by Chase Utley in the 2015 postseason. Tejada received the loudest ovation of any Met in the postseason at Citi Field.

Third Base: David Wright

The captain’s great career was cut short due to spinal stenosis, but before the injury bug wiped out Wright’s prime he was on a Hall of Fame track. Wright’s homer in Game 3 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field was incredible for the franchise.

Outfield: Curtis Granderson, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto

These three were no-brainers. Grandson was the rare free-agent addition that worked for the Mets, delivering production and leadership in the clubhouse. Conforto developed into a home-grown star while Cespedes was the difference maker for the Mets down the stretch in 2015.

Starting Rotation: Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon

deGrom is the unquestioned Met of the decade, while Harvey’s arrival signified the beginning of the team’s turnaround. Syndergaard and Wheeler established themselves as ace-level arms while Colon beat out Steven Matz due to his durability and clutch performances.

Closer: Jeurys Familia

The Mets have had a bit of a revolving door at closer of late, but the position was most stabilized by Familia, who was one of the best closers in the game for a three year period.

Bench Player: Wilmer Flores

No best of the decade list for the Mets would be complete without Wilmer Flores, who became a fan favorite after tearing up at the notion of being traded away from the only organization he had ever known. Flores’ clutch walk off homers also added to his legend.

Manager: Terry Collins

Initially hired to be a caretaker, Collins ended up guiding the franchise to a pennant in 2015 and left after the 2017 season as the winningest skipper in Mets’ history.

Top 5 Moments of the Decade

Oct 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) in action during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

5. Bartolo Colon homers

No Mets’ fan will ever forget where they were on May 7, 2016, when Bartolo Colon launched his first career home run in San Diego. The sheer shock factor of the homer and the Mets’ reaction in the dugout made it an instant classic.

4. The captain says goodbye

The Mets don’t usually get exits right, but they handled David Wright’s departure from the game with class. Wright was given the grand spotlight on September 29, 2018, when a full house at Citi Field gave him all the love he could possibly handle in his final appearance with the team.

3. The dark knight starts the All Star game

The All Star Game was at Citi Field in 2013, and the Mets saw Matt Harvey get the start. The young right hander was ascending to the top of the game and this appearance signaled that the Mets weren’t too far off from returning to contention.

2. Wilmer Flores’ walk off against the Nationals

The events of the last few days of the 2015 trade deadline were a whirlwind for the Mets and Wilmer Flores, who nearly got dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carlos Gomez before the medicals fell through. Flores ended up staying with the team and delivering his signature moment as a Met, belting a walk off homer to defeat the Washington Nationals as part of a sweep that would put the Mets in first place for good.

1. JOhan Santana’s no hitter

The Mets had waited 50 years for a no-hitter, and it finally happened on June 1, 2012, when Johan Santana needed 137 pitches to toss a no-no against the St. Louis Cardinals. Santana was never the same after that game, but he gave the Mets and their fans something they had long cherished: pitching immortality.

Superlatives

Met of the decade

The best Met this decade was Jacob deGrom, who became the staff’s ace and the best pitcher in baseball, finishing the 2010’s with consecutive Cy Young Awards.

Best Season

This is without a doubt 2015, when the Mets took baseball by storm in the second half and surged to their first World Series appearance since 2000.

Worst Season

The beginning of the decade had a few contenders, but we’ll go with 2017, which saw all the hope of the previous two years go up in smoke as injuries wrecked the pitching staff and Yoenis Cespedes.

best free agent signing

Curtis Granderson’s four year, $60 million dollar deal was worth every penny for the Mets. In his years with the Mets, Granderson was a solid leader and produced every year.

Worst free agent signing

The decision to bring back Yoenis Cespedes after the 2016 season looked smart at the time, but the four year, $110 million deal has backfired spectacularly. Injuries have limited Cespedes to just over a full year played in the first three years of the deal, and his full no-trade clause means the Mets couldn’t even deal him if they wanted to.

best trade

Sandy Alderson pulled off a coup back in the winter of 2012, dealing disgruntled Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays for John Buck and a trio of prospects headlined by Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard. d’Arnaud emerged as the Mets’ starting catcher, Syndergaard became an ace, and Buck was turned into Dilson Herrera, who was turned into Jay Bruce, who helped the Mets get back to the playoffs in 2016.

Worst trade

Brodie Van Wagenen’s first deal was his worst as the Mets turned the contracts of Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, along with three top prospects headlined by Jarred Kelenic, into Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Neither lived up to expectations, the Mets are on the hook for the majority of Cano’s deal, and Kelenic is poised to become a future star in Seattle.

Lowest moment

There were plenty to choose from for the Mets, but we’ll go with one from this past season, when Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas got into a confrontation with Newsday’s Tim Healey in the clubhouse following a loss in Chicago. This was a horrific look for the franchise and no doubt played a small role in Callaway’s dismissal following the season.

Outlook Entering the 2020’s

The Mets are poised for more change in the ensuing decade as the Wilpons sell the team to Steve Cohen. With a solid young core in place and Cohen’s billions of dollars waiting to restore the Mets to bidding for top of the market players, the odds appear good that the franchise’s title drought will come to an end. It may take a bit for it to happen, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as the 2020’s begin.

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