The New York Mets have mainly crashed since reaching the World Series in 2015, losing to the Kansas City Royals.
Big things were expected from them in 2020 and 2021, and they ended up disappointing with mediocre records and infamous collapses.
Owner Steve Cohen and the front office want to go all-in in 2022, and they have filled the roster with talent.
Once completed, Scherzer deal will give the Mets a historicallly good one-two punch, with Jake deGrom. Mets not messing around.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2021
Those two have been elite pitchers for a while, and are extremely important for the Mets’ chances.
Who is more important, though?
The Case For Scherzer
Scherzer represents the missing link that has the potential to take the Mets from pretenders to true contenders.
He is that good.
Of course, a three-time Cy Young award winner (one more than deGrom, by the way) has the potential to take a rotation to the next level.
The Mets overpaid Scherzer to bring him in, and their successful approach now means they can have the best one-two pitching punch in baseball, and that’s no hyperbole.
Besides, he is at a point in his career in which he is still good and has valuable experience that helped him win his first World Series title in 2019 with the Washington Nationals.
He is a proven winner, and an intense competitor.
He is precisely what the Mets need: someone they can rely on with the game, or the season, on the line.
He is 37, yes, but here are his 2021 numbers in case you missed them: 30 starts, 179.1 innings, 2.46 ERA, 2.97 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), 34.1 percent strikeout rate, 5.2 percent walk rate, 5.4 WAR (Wins Above Replacement).
He is pushing 40 and remains a top ten pitcher in baseball, perhaps top five.
The Case For deGrom
If you say deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball, no one would argue with you.
It’s actually a reality by now.
He was on pace for a historically great season in 2021.
In 15 starts, he covered 92 innings that netted him 4.9 WAR.
That’s more than most starters with more than double his innings tally.
deGrom struck out 45.1 percent of the hitters he faced, and walked only 3.4 percent.
He had a minuscule 1.08 ERA and a 1.24 FIP.
Unfortunately for the Mets, deGrom suffered all kinds of physical issues last season.
He hurt his shoulder, lat, and his elbow.
He last pitched in July, and perhaps not coincidentally, the Mets collapsed in the second half without their ace.
Team president Sandy Alderson revealed after the season that deGrom suffered a partial ligament tear in his elbow, which inexplicably “resolved itself”.
Sandy Alderson provides an update on Jacob deGrom:
"It's a very low grade thing that has resolved itself" pic.twitter.com/0PNsyeLncy
— SNY (@SNYtv) September 7, 2021
The expectation is for deGrom to be ready for spring training.
As long as the two-time Cy Young award winner is healthy, the Mets will have a chance.
Scherzer is undoubtedly a top pitcher.
Not many hurlers post a 2.46-ERA season at 37.
Yet, deGrom is the best pitcher alive, thus making him more important to the Mets.
The team will monitor his health closely in 2022 and will make sure he gets to October in one piece.
There is just no way the Mets can win it all without him.