The Omar Minaya Mets were heavy on stars but not so hot on depth. This stars and scrubs mixture worked pretty good when Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado were playing in 155 games a year. But it wasn’t so hot once those guys got injured.
The 2019 Mets looked to spread the wealth around a bit more, including paying for guys to play a position where they already had a solid answer. They imported Robinson Cano to play 2B when they already had Jeff McNeil there. They added Jed Lowrie and J.D. Davis to play 3B when they already had Todd Frazier there. Injuries around the diamond meant that Davis and McNeil played a whole bunch last year. And the team won 86 games, despite a bad defense, a horrible bullpen and a schedule that did them no favors.
The 2006 Mets won 97 games and if they had gone to the playoffs with a healthy Orlando Hernandez and Pedro Martinez at their disposal, they could/should/would have won the World Series. Some might call this “proof of concept” for the stars and scrubs approach.
Last year Jeff Wilpon stated beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Mets would not be assembling a team filled with stars, as he asked how many teams had multiple $30 million players as a justification not to chase two of the youngest players to hit free agency in recent memory. And the club seems to be doubling down on the share the wealth concept this offseason, as they are acquiring pitching depth to rival last year’s hitting depth.
Could sharing the wealth work and result in a 97-win team in the regular season? Most would agree this was a potential outcome for the 2020 Mets, even if they wouldn’t give it much of a chance of happening. Most would feel better if the team was getting something from the guys making eight figures a year, like Yoenis Cespedes, Jeurys Familia and Lowrie, who gave them nothing or less than nothing in 2019.
Which team would you rather follow/cheer for — the team loaded with six to eight stars and filled in around those impact players? Or a team with just a couple of stars but buttressed with many more good players?