Will Marte’s Opening Day be in Jeopardy?

This is not the question we want to entertain just 18 days prior to the 2022 season, yet here we are. Newly acquired center fielder, Starling Marte is dealing with an oblique injury and Mets manager Buck Showalter has told reporters that Marte has yet to swing a bat since being in camp.

While Buck says that he expects Marte to start the year in the Opening Day lineup, oblique injuries have proven to be tricky and can linger for a period of time.

Defensively, they won’t lose too much if anything at all, as the Mets are prepared to slide Brandon Nimmo over to center from the corner. The Wyoming native was already slotted in at the top of the lineup with an incredible .393 career on base percentage.

However focusing on the offensive side, the Mets lose the spark plug speed that Marte possesses. The kind of talent and speed that allows you to reach base at a .383 percentage and swipes 47 bags.

Let’s make no mistake, the organization has been missing this caliber of a spark plug since Jose Reyes was in his prime and departed for the Miami Marlins. So signing Marte was as significant as it gets, especially for a club that’s heavily pushing for World Series victory within the next few years.

If the injury turns out to be bigger than initially thought, this could force the hand on a Conforto-Mets reunion.

While Conforto rejected a $100M+ deal last year, he could possibly be tempted to accept a shorter term offer in order to build his value on the open market.

This would be very unlikely, in my opinion. It would make a lot more sense for the Mets to find a plug and play type player, or two… or three.

Listen: The Mets Junkies Podcast (Episode 33): Is deGrom deGone?

Corné and Gem talk about Pete Alonso’s car wreck and his Top 10 ranking on MLB Now, as well as deGrom’s future status with the Mets. They also have an update on Taijuan Walker, and speculate on why Robinson Cano is not currently on the teams 40 man roster.

Alonso gets in wreck, then named the 6th best first baseman in Majors

Mets star first baseman Pete Alonso had a near death experience on Monday morning while heading to the team’s complex. The slugger said in an interview that his car flipped over about three times in an accident, leaving Alonso shook but also grateful.

Every day’s a gift. Man, today’s really special for me,” the 2019 home run champ said. “I just had a blast out there today, doing work, seeing everybody. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier showing up to Spring Training. It’s truly amazing how I’m here. I’m so fortunate that everyone’s ok.” Alonso conceded the incident inflicted “a lot of emotional toll” but noted he’s “here, happy and healthy.”

While he reiterates that he’s fine and should be good going forward in regards to his health, I’m sure Mets management is keeping a close eye on their clean-up hitter.

Also Read: Is Freddie Freeman a Good Fit for the Mets?

Later on that same evening, MLB Network ranked the 27-year old as the 6th best first baseman on MLB Now, landing him in the midst of some pretty impeccable talent.

In 1366 at-bats, Alonso has 63 doubles, 106 home runs and 249 RBI’s. This gives him an average of 28 doubles, 46 home runs, and 109 RBI’s per every 162 games.

However, Baseball-Reference.com projects the former Rookie of Year to slug 24 doubles, 35 home runs, with 87 RBI’s in the upcoming 2022 season. That would be a substantial drop in the power department from his 162 game average.

Photo Credit: Haley Alonso

Familia signs with Phillies

Well, this could end up being an addition by subtraction but I get the feeling the Mets may end up missing the righty. Jeurys Familia has signed a one year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Familia’s contract is worth approximately $6M and can go as high as approximately $7M. The sinker ball pitcher is a career 32-25 pitcher with 3.28 ERA in 498.2 innings pitched.

During the 2021 campaign, Familia went 9-4 with an ERA 3.94 in 59.1 innings.

The deal comes a few hours after the Mets and Athletics struck up a trade for starting pitcher Chris Bassitt.

Mets finalizing deal with Scherzer

I’ve spent the last few hours pinching myself to make sure that I’m not sleeping, and I’m still not really believing it. However, according to the insiders within MLB, the Mets are actually the front-runners to land Scherzer.

If the deal gets done, the Mets would undoubtedly have the hottest off-season to date. So far, Billy Eppler has made additions like Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, and even Starling Marte. Just imagine a starting rotation that has both Jacob deGrom as well as Max Scherzer.

Also Read: #MetsCrushMonday: Carlos Cortes

Cohen takes shots at Agent

Steve Cohen is not about hiding his feelings and has displayed this before. Well, today is no different as he had some hard words to take to Twitter this morning.

This post comes just several hours after Steven Matz has signed a four-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic gives his thoughts to the snub.

Who do you think will be the first big addition for the Mets? Let us know!!

Free Agent Target: Starling Marte

Many fans have had their eyes on Marte since the Pittsburgh Pirates had the star centerfielder on the trading block. Eventually, the Pirates would end up sending the right-handed slugger to Arizona. Now a couple of seasons later, Marte is a Free Agent and could find himself in Flushing, Queens before the start of the 2022 season.

There isn’t a ton of top tier talent on the free agent market and it’s no secret that the Mets will be looking to improve defensively in center. With Conforto likely on his way out, this gives the team the opportunity to move Nimmo over to the corner while trying to find a competent enough bat to captain the outfield.

“But Gem, he’s 33 years old, he can’t play center.”

Listen, I get what you’re saying but no. Looking at Marte’s Baseball Savant page, you’ll see that he still ranks around the top of the league when it comes to OAA (Outs Above Average). The same goes for his sprint speed, maximum exit velocity, as well as his xBA.

If all of this is making you want to vomit, I understand, so let’s look at the basics.

In 2021, Marte hit .310 while getting on base at a .383 clip and slugging a respectable .458 with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics. Not to mention his 27 doubles, 12 home runs, and an amazing 47 stolen bases to go along side those numbers.

Throughout the span of his 10-year career, the Dominican born outfielder slashes .289/.346/.451/.797 with 126 home runs and 296 swipes. While the Mets aren’t necessarily a slow footed team, they’re not exactly burners on the paths, either. His addition would bring a huge threat to the top of lineup.

Also read: Could a Smith for Bellinger Trade Work?

MLBTR has Marte getting approximately $80M for 4 years and Tim Dierkes has him signing with the Mets.

However, Jim Bowden of The Athletic thinks that the outfielder is a “great fit” for the Yankees so I believe Marte’s agent will be busy fielding offers this winter. Anything can happen, but if he does see his way on to the Mets, this lineup would have changed drastically.