The New York Mets, eager to fight for the National League East division in 2022 and make a deep postseason run after a rough 2021, have opened their wallet.
Last weekend, they signed center fielder Starling Marte to a four-year, $78 million deal; Mark Canha to a two-year, $26.5 million contract; and infielder Eduardo Escobar to a two-year, $20 million pact.
Then, this week, they capitalized on their need for starting pitching and brought in the best and most expensive in the market: Max Scherzer agreed to sign a three-year, 130 million deal with an opt-out clause after the second season.
Max Scherzer and the Mets are finalizing $130M, 3-year deal. Minor details to go only.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2021
The Mets still have several needs: an infielder, at least a couple of starters, and a reliever or two.
However, they managed to improve a lot with those signings.
Are they better than the New York Yankees, their crosstown rivals, though?
Who Has The Edge: The Yankeees Or The Mets?
Both teams are currently very close in talent level and roster quality, but because they are currently a playoff team (even if they were booted from contention in the Wild Card game), the Yankees should get a slight edge.
The thing is that, despite the Mets’ obvious influx of talent, they also lost extremely talented players during the offseason.
Los Angeles Angeles swooped in and signed both Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Loup: the former is a gifted starter looking to return to his most dominant form, and the latter was one of the most effective left-handed relievers in baseball.
The Mets also lost top starter Marcus Stroman (3.03 ERA in 179 innings): he is a free agent and appears to be somewhat disgruntled with the Mets, so he is not looking likely to return.
Additionally, right fielder Michael Conforto is also a free agent, also unlikely to return after the additions of Canha and Marte.
The Mets Are On The Way Up, Unlike The Yankees
The sheer talent of Scherzer is enough to greatly improve the rotation and establish a formidable one-two punch with Jacob deGrom; and Canha, Escobar, and especially Marte are effective offensive players.
However, and even though the Yankees haven’t done much (they haven’t done anything, to be honest), they still have a slight edge because they retained most of their core: Gerrit Cole, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Joey Gallo, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Jordan Montgomery, Jameson Taillon, Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Loaisiga, and many others will be back in 2022.
In any case, right now, the Yankees may still be a bit better than the Mets, but that doesn’t mean that will still be the case when the offseason is over and the 2022 campaign starts.
In fact, the Yankees clearly don’t like the current market, and the Mets, with the wealthiest owner in MLB, are thriving in it.
— Anthony Riccobono (@Tony_Riccobono) November 29, 2021
There is a chance that, when the Yankees wait until after the CBA deal is finalized and decide to look for improvements, there aren’t many.
The Mets, on the other hand, are still active, looking for starting pitchers and are still in the Kris Bryant sweepstakes.
But if they don’t, they have to know that they likely won’t be the best team in town.