Owner: Steve Cohen, worth $12.9 billion.
World Series Titles: 1969, 1986.
Greatest Player: SP Tom Seaver.
Division: NL East
Payroll: 1st, $330,643,332.
2022 Result: 101-61, 2nd place; lost to Padres in Wildcard Series, 2-1.
General Manager: Billy Eppler.
Manager: Buck Showalter, 66; Record: 1,652-1578, 0 World Series Titles.
Home Field: Citi Field, capacity, 41,800.
Key Addition: SP Justin Verlander. With Verlander and Matt Scherzer at the front of the rotation, the Mets should have an edge in almost any playoff series. Verlander more than compensates for the loss of Jacob deGrom (Texas Rangers).
Key Loss: SS Carlos Correa. Technically he never joined the team after concerns about a 2014 ankle injury deep-sixed a 12-year, $315 million deal that would have given them the bat they need to make them a top-tier offense.
Key Injury: Right fielder Starling Marte underwent core muscle surgery in November and may not be ready for the start of the season.
Prospect alert: C Francisco Alvarez is considered one of the Top 5 prospects in baseball. The Mets have made do without an elite catcher. He could become a franchise backstop. Brett Baty saw time at the end of last season and playoffs. The 6-3, 210-pound third baseman/outfielder looks the part.
Scouting Report: Did you see that payroll number? When Cohen bought the team in October of 2020, he boasted that the Mets were a big-market franchise and would have the requisite payroll. Mets fans are still pinching themselves. Cohen, who grew up a Mets fan, has more than proven he’ll spare no expense in bringing a third World Series title to Queens which means it should come as no surprise if The Amazins add pieces and payroll.
The acquisition of Verlander, coming off his third Cy Young, gives the Mets an overwhelming 1-2 punch. Japanese star Kodai Senga could make the Mets rotation filthy good. Speaking of filthy, closer Edwin Diaz had 32 saves and a 1.31 ERA.
The Mets, however, play in baseball’s best division. The Atlanta Braves won it all in 2021, the Washington Nationals in 2019 and the Phillies lost to the Houston Astros in last year’s World Series. Bottom line: It’s World Series or bust for the Mets.
Over/Under Wins: 95, 2nd place in NL East, lose to Braves in NLCS.
BetBasics Best Bet: Pete Alonso was second in the National League with 40 home runs and tied with Aaron Judge for the MLB lead with 131 RBIs. He’s +1400 to win NL MVP. The Padres Juan Soto is 1st at +550. But the Padres have another candidate in Fernando Tatis, Jr. at +1000 and Manny Machado at +1000.
There’s a similar dynamic in L.A. where Mookie Betts +850 and Freddie Freeman +1300 are legit candidates and in St. Louis, where Paul Goldschmidt +950 and Nolan Arenado +1000 reside and in Atlanta, where Austin Riley +1600 and Ronald Acuna Jr. +1000 are a dynamic 1-2 punch.
The Mets next best MVP candidate is Francisco Lindor at +2500. So Alonso, who has only missed 13 games in the last three non-pandemic seasons, is a worth the wager. Besides, who doesn’t love a polar bear?