2023 was certainly an eventful year for the New York Mets and it wasn’t all great. The franchise is in transition entering 2024 as newly minted President of Baseball Operations David Stearns sets out to make owner Steve Cohen’s vision of turning the Mets into the East Coast Dodgers a reality. Some big names are now gone from the organization as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander were traded, leaving a solid core intact as Stearns looks to make more efficient use of Cohen’s dollars beyond this season, when a lot of dead money will be on their books.
While the long term vision of the Mets is still important, it doesn’t mean the franchise should treat 2024 as a lost cause. Stearns has promised to build a competitive roster, and we’ll see how that resolution goes forward, but let’s take a look at some other resolutions the Mets should carry forward over the next 365 days.
Cohen should resolve to have his checkbook ready to go for big expenditures after the season, when the Mets will have a lot of financial flexibility and a better idea of how their top prospects are progressing. Retaining Pete Alonso is a must while pursuits of Juan Soto and an ace from a pool featuring the likes of Zack Wheeler, Max Fried, Corbin Burnes, Shane Bieber and Walker Buehler.
Besides the aforementioned goal of building a 2024 contender, Stearns should resolve to use Cohen’s resources to build up the Mets’ analytics department. Verlander reportedly complained that the Astros’ analytics group was far superior to the Mets’ before leaving and the Mets should strive to be among the best in the game in that area.
Mendoza should resolve to be his own manager and not simply imitate what Aaron Boone has done in the Bronx. While Boone has had a lot of regular season success, there are aspects of his job performance that Mendoza can improve upon in order to be a long-term fixture in the dugout for the Mets.
Alonso should resolve not to let discussions about his future be a distraction to his production in 2024. The Mets may not come to an extension agreement with him prior to spring training so Alonso can simply let his play on the field do the talking, notably in terms of finding a way to increase his batting average after a rough 2023 campaign.
McNeil should resolve to figure out how to consistently capture the form that made him a batting champion in 2022. Two of the past three seasons have been rough for McNeil, which is not a great thing since the Mets just extended his contract a year ago.
Lindor should resolve to become the Mets’ true leader in a way that he hasn’t to this point. The Mets tried having Lindor lead in 2021 and he wasn’t ready for that responsibility in New York but his strong showing at the end of a lost 2023 is a good sign that Lindor is now capable of being the guy the Mets rally behind.
Alvarez should resolve to work on boosting his batting average in 2024. The home runs were a nice development for Alvarez as a rookie but if he can raise his batting average closer to the .260 range he can be a huge asset to the offense.
Nimmo should resolve to continue leaning into the power stroke that helped him set a career high in home runs last season. Seeing more pop out of Nimmo can be a creative way for the Mets to generate offense without having to string multiple hits together.
Senga should resolve to not let his expected elevation to staff ace impact his approach to the game. The Mets’ trades of Verlander and Scherzer made him the default ace down the stretch and Senga pitched well, but having those expectations from the start of the season is an entirely different animal.
Diaz should resolve not to try too hard to replicate his epic 2022 season after missing all of last season following knee surgery. That type of historic performance is almost impossible to duplicate but if Diaz can default back to being the best closer in baseball it will be a massive win for the Mets’ bullpen.