There’s a story on SNY with the headline, “Darling says Correa deal would be ‘centerpiece’ of Mets offseason.” Carlos Correa is a star who’s on the young side of 30; it’s not an outlandish statement. Keith Law had him ranked as the top free agent available this offseason. Still, it struck me as odd with the other high-dollar moves the team has made since the 2022 season ended that one would consider him the centerpiece.
The Mets absolutely needed someone to replace Jacob deGrom in the rotation and picked up the reigning AL CY Award winner in Justin Verlander. Seems like he deserves some strong centerpiece consideration.
It’s hard to imagine how the Mets would have replaced Brandon Nimmo in both center field and at the top of the lineup. This past year wasn’t Nimmo’s best offensive season but it was his best all-around campaign. Much like with Correa, it feels like there’s still another level for Nimmo to hit.
Originally, Jose Quintana wasn’t going to be part of this discussion. But he was good for the Pirates and terrific for the Cardinals last year. And while this was easily his best season in years, he does have three previous years with better production and one just as good. It’s amazing what being fully healthy will do for a guy.
And what if Kodai Senga pitches for a whole season the way that Masahiro Tanaka did when he first joined MLB and before he got hurt? In his first 16 games, Tanaka was 11-3 with a 2.10 ERA. Senga doesn’t have the full repertoire that Tanaka did but his fastball is 5-7 mph faster and his splitter is said to be a better pitch. He’s a wild card, for sure, but there’s potential for him to put up a better year than Correa.
At the end of the day, it’s impossible to determine exactly what centerpiece even means. So, let’s look at it in a more practical manner. Who’s going to be the best player in 2023? We’ll use fWAR as our measuring stick. Here’s what our four players did in that category in 2021:
Correa – 4.4
Nimmo – 5.4
Quintana – 4.0
Senga – NA
Verlander – 6.1
Senga went 11-6 with a 1.98 ERA last year, with a 9.8 K/9 and a 3.18 K/BB. Walks are a concern, as he had super-high BB/9 earlier in his career but had shown marked improvement the past two seasons. There’s also worries about how he’ll fare in a five-day rotation after essentially pitching once a week in Japan.
Which free agent acquisition will have the best 2023 for the Mets?
- Verlander (50%, 6 Votes)
- Correa (25%, 3 Votes)
- Nimmo (17%, 2 Votes)
- Senga (8%, 1 Votes)
- Quintana (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 12