Opening Day is quickly approaching and I could not be more excited. The Mets are looking great in Spring Training. Pete Alonso looks like he is back in his 2019 form. Brandon Nimmo seems to be taking the next step as a hitter. In addition, Dominic Smith is continuing what he did in 2020 and hitting the cover off the ball. On the pitching side of things, Jacob DeGrom somehow got better, Marcus Stroman looks the best he ever has, and Edwin Diaz is proving to be an elite bullpen arm. However, there are still some questions that remain for the 2021 New York Mets.
Who will be the fifth starter?
Four out the five rotation slots are solidified for the 2021 New York Mets. At the top, you have Jacob DeGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, and Tajuan Walker. However, there is still speculation at who the fifth starter will be. The Mets have done an excellent job acquiring starting pitching depth this offseason. Unless something goes horribly wrong, we will not be seeing Walker Lockett or any other Quad-A pitcher making spot starts. Instead, you have four other legitimate MLB pitchers fighting for that fifth spot. You have 2017 first round pick David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, and Jared Eickhoff. All four of these guys have been prominent starters in the pros with varying levels of experience. Carrasco is dealing with elbow soreness and Noah Syndergaard will be sidelined until about June so we will see a combination of those four until Carrasco and Thor are fully healthy.
What about the bullpen?
The New York Mets have the potential to have one of the most dominant bullpens in all of baseball. However, they also have one of the most volatile bullpens at the exact same time. Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo will be the go to guys for the back end of the bullpen. The Mets brought back lefty specialist Jerry Blevins who will figure to play a major role. They also have guys like Dellin Betances and Jeurys Familia. When they are on, Betances and Familia can be two of the most dominant relievers in the game. However, when they are off, they can walk the whole stadium. If the Mets want to be an elite team, they will need the bullpen to be elite.
Will the extensions get done?
ICYMI, the Mets expect to begin Francisco Lindor extension talks this week.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) March 8, 2021
The Mets made their biggest move of the offseason when they acquired Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Baseball Team. There is mutual interest in getting a long term extension done and quite frankly, the Mets need to get it done. If they are being real about turning the page with this new regime, they need to keep Lindor here long term. Lindor is made to play in a big market. He is made to play baseball in New York, and the Mets need to do everything they can to keep him here. Lindor has set an unofficial deadline of opening day to get an extension done because he does not want to negotiate during the season.
In addition to Lindor, Michael Conforto is also do for a long term extension. The Mets passed on giving George Springer the type of contract the Blue Jays did partly because it would hinder them from signing Conforto long term. The Mets will pivot to negotiating with Conforto once they get the Lindor deal done.
I say this almost every year, but this is the most excited I have been for a Mets team in a long time. Many of the major projections have the Mets winning the division over the Braves . The Mets have all of the pieces to compete with the Dodgers and the Padres for the best team in the National League. They have the rotation that can compete with any one and have one of the deepest lineups in baseball. Despite some lingering questions that need to be answered, this going to a great season for the 2021 New York Mets.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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