With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Mets squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the vision?NEW YORK -- It is exceedingly rare for a team to do what the Mets did this offseason, returning all of their key
With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Mets squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the vision?
NEW YORK -- It is exceedingly rare for a team to do what the Mets did this offseason, returning all of their key free agents without adding any new names of note. The Mets were a playoff team in 2016. They are reporting to Spring Training in '17 with a near-identical roster.
There is a reason for that. Built around a core of hard-throwing starting pitchers and a power-centric offense, the Mets feel their window to compete for a World Series title is still as wide open as that of anyone in baseball.
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"Until you get to the World Series, you don't know how much fun it is," manager Terry Collins said. "This year, we're hungry, and I think that's going to show when we take the field in Spring Training. The energy is going to be back. The hunger is going to be back. And if we can keep those guys on the mound, we're going to be in good shape."
"Those guys" are Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, the latter three of whom are coming off surgeries. Add Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo to the mix, and the Mets, if healthy, still boast one of the most formidable rotations in baseball.
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Their vision is to keep that group on the mound and keep scores low, allowing their homer-happy offense to win games for them. Back on a new four-year deal, Yoenis Cespedes will lead that charge, though he is far from the only focal point of this offense. Up the middle, infielders Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker are both coming off 23-homer seasons. In the outfield, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce remain 30-homer threats. If corner infielders David Wright and Lucas Duda can stay healthy as well, the Mets will boast a lineup full of power bats from top to bottom.
In the bullpen, the Mets re-signed free agents Jerry Blevins and Noel Salas, returning the core of a group that -- thanks to closer Jeurys Familia and setup man Addison Reed -- was one of the best in baseball last season.
The Mets won 87 games during that campaign, coming within a Madison Bumgarner buzzsaw of advancing to the National League Division Series. As evidenced by this offseason, they aren't eager to change their formula for success.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.