2016 is the time for the Mets to win.
The 2016 Mets will put out their most talented lineup in the last decade. This 2016 Mets team may also be the best Mets team that will be put on the field for the next decade.
Perhaps the largest reason this may be one of the best Mets teams ever to take the field is due to the highly talented and cheap starting pitching. The combination of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and ultimately Zack Wheeler, may go down as one of the best rotations seen in baseball history.
Harvey, deGrom, and Syndergaard would be aces on any other club while Matz and Wheeler would most likely be very strong number twos on any other club. They are also the best dollar for dollar rotation in all of baseball (by far). The five are making a combined 6.4 million dollars. For comparison, Mike Pelfrey is making 8 million dollars for the Tigers alone. This rotation is both one of the best in baseball and provides the financial flexibility to invest in every other position.
The starting pitching also has enough depth with Bartolo Colon serving as the number five until Zack Wheeler returns from injury. Logan Verrett, Sean Gilmartin, and Rafael Montero are also viable starting options should one of the starters get hurt.
This is also perhaps the last season we see the core five starters pitching at the same time. Matt Harvey will hit free agency in 2018. There is a legitimate chance the Mets will trade Matt Harvey in the next year or two for a huge prospect rather than letting him walk and only receiving draft-pick compensation.
Another huge reason to believe in the 2016 season is the return of Mets hero Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes is the huge middle of the order bat that the Mets have craved since they traded Carlos Beltran to the Giants in 2010. Cespedes’ time with the Mets may be limited to one year because of an opt-out clause in his recently signed contract. The Cespedes trade transformed the Mets 2015 lineup and there is reason to believe his signing will have a similar impact on the 2016 lineup.
2016 is also a huge season for the Mets because Curtis Granderson and David Wright are most likely on the tail ends of their respective careers. Granderson has proved to be a valuable leadoff hitter thanks to his plate disciple, however, he is going to be 35 for this coming season.
His power, speed, and range will continue to decrease with age. Right now, Granderson is still an extremely valuable player but there are certainly question marks about his ability after this year and who his successor will be.
David Wright has already started to become extremely injury prone thanks to his increasing age. However, Wright can still mash lefties in a lefty-prone Mets lineup and contribute. Wright showed hope at the end of 2015 that he can still contribute at a high level for now.
The Mets bullpen will be the difference maker in 2016. A bullpen consisting of Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, Addison Reed, Antonio Bastardo, and Jeurys Familia is extremely strong. There is also Logan Verrett, Josh Edgin, Sean Gilmartin, or Eric Goeddel providing bullpen depth.
Of course, injuries are always the issue with hypothetical lineups. The Mets in 2016 have remarkable depth.
Wilmer Flores can play any infield position at a high level offensively and provide a big right-handed bat off the bench.
Alejandro De Aza and Juan Lagares are both major-league caliber outfielders that can help sure up the Mets defense late in the game. Lagares can also play against lefties relieving Granderson or Michael Conforto.
Kevin Plawecki is also a major-league caliber catcher who can easily replace Travis D’Arnaud should he go down to injury.
The Mets have every position covered in case of injury and every player has a role off the bench.
The 2016 Mets have a historic starting rotation, a potent offense, a solid bullpen, one of the most talented closers in baseball, and major-league quality depth.
A team this well-rounded and talented may come around only once in a decade. 2016 is the Mets best chance to win it all.