Believe it or not, we're nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season, and the Mets look very much for real. Like all teams not based in Chicago, the Mets have had their share of issues over the season's first six weeks. But by and large, things in
Believe it or not, we're nearly a quarter of the way through the regular season, and the Mets look very much for real. Like all teams not based in Chicago, the Mets have had their share of issues over the season's first six weeks. But by and large, things in Flushing have been placid.
With that in mind, it's a good time to step back and take the first batch of questions and answers this season. In some cases below, the grammar of tweets has been corrected:
Are we looking at the potential of only Noah Syndergaard being a long-term Met? Steven Matz is always hurt and Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom are not worth the money.
--@louie3020 via Twitter
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With Stephen Strasburg's seven-year contract extension shaking things up down in Washington, it was only a matter of time before this topic came up regarding the Mets' young aces. And I do agree with part of your sentiment, Louie. For most of this winter, I identified Syndergaard as the most likely Met to receive a contract extension, simply because from a team perspective, there's the most upside in doing so with him.
Harvey is still relatively fresh off Tommy John surgery, has elicited concerns about his velocity this season, and with the notable exception of Strasburg, agent Scott Boras does not have a lengthy track record of doing deals before free agency. For me, a Harvey extension falls into the I'll-believe-it-when-I-see-it category.
While deGrom has said publicly that he would be amenable to a long-term deal, that does not necessarily mean the Mets would be willing to guarantee much if anything beyond his arbitration years. A late bloomer who is already 27 years old, deGrom won't reach free agency until age 32. That makes any long-term deal a significant risk for the Mets. (For a rough comparison, David Price is only 30 right now.)
Matz, as you mentioned, owns a significant injury history that doesn't seem like it's going away anytime soon. He'd have to accept an extremely team-friendly deal at this point in his career.
Excepting Zack Wheeler, who isn't yet back from Tommy John surgery, that leaves Syndergaard. At age 23, he still has loads of upside, and with a little more consistency, could become the best pitcher in the game. Syndergaard is an injury risk to the extent that every hard-throwing pitcher is an injury risk, but if there's one starter the Mets would seem to have lots of incentive to lock up long-term, it would be him. That could happen tomorrow, it could happen next year or it could happen never. For both sides, it at least seems worth considering.
Who do you see making their Major League debut first, Brandon Nimmo or Gavin Cecchini, and when?
-- @AlexGiobbi via Twitter
To put it bluntly, if either debuts before September, something has gone wrong for the Mets. Don't get me wrong -- both Nimmo and Cecchini are intriguing prospects who could play critical roles for the Mets in coming years. But unlike last year, when Michael Conforto came up in July to fill a glaring hole, there is no one area in which the Mets so desperately need an upgrade in 2016.
An injury could change that of course, but for now, the Mets aren't going to haul Nimmo or Cecchini up from the Minors just to sit on the bench -- especially not Cecchini, with fellow infielders Matt Reynolds, T.J. Rivera and even Ty Kelly available at Triple-A Las Vegas. So I'd give the slight edge to Nimmo just based on positional scarcity. But at ages 22 (Nimmo) and 23 (Cecchini), there's nothing wrong with this pair doing a bit more developing.
Gonna need a bench bat before the season's over. Possible candidates?
-- @NJMetFan via Twitter
It's a little early to start thinking about that, simply because it's difficult to predict which teams will consider themselves out of contention two months from now.
That being said, I could certainly see the Mets going after someone with third base experience, both to back up David Wright, and to provide insurance in the event that his back condition flares up. Wilmer Flores was supposed to be that guy, but he hasn't hit much in the early going and is on the disabled list now, anyway. If Flores doesn't round into form, why not someone like Trevor Plouffe or Yunel Escobar, who play for Twins and Angels clubs that don't appear ready to compete? A left-handed-hitting third baseman would be ideal, but those are few and far between.
While we're on the topic, some out there have already begun talking about the Mets pursuing a catcher such as Jonathan Lucroy, since Travis d'Arnaud continues to ail. But I don't see it. Backup Kevin Plawecki is finally starting to hit, and the Mets are still crossing their fingers that a healthy d'Arnaud will resurface later this summer.
When do the Mets consider putting Bartolo Colon in the cleanup spot? #PitchersWhoRake
-- @skibag22 via Twitter
Terry Collins will manage the National League All-Star team. Just saying ...
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.