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

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5 comments on “Poll: Which free agent acquisition will have the best 2023 for the Mets?

  • boomboom

    I’m picking Nimmo, because I think he takes it to another level this year. Like starting CF in the all star game level.

    Where’s Diaz by the way, as an option? Wasn’t he technically a free agent when he was re-signed?

  • Brian Joura

    Diaz could have been an option. Technically, he wasn’t a free agent, as he signed prior to five days after the completion of the World Series. But that’s not why he wasn’t listed. He had a 3.0 fWAR last year and his career best is the 3.5 mark he had for SEA in 2018. He’s no threat to put up a 5.0 fWAR and my sincere hope is that at least one, if not all of the others, will hit that mark.

  • Metsense

    Correa is my pick that will have the best year, per fWAR, for 2023.
    Nimmo is the centerpiece because wasn’t anyone else available to replace him defensively and in fWAR. There were other similar pitchers available similar like Verlander, Senga and Quintana in the marketplace but Eppler made a good choice by selecting these three pitchers. Correa wasn’t necessary but the signing reinforces that the Mets are serious in their quest for a championship.

  • AgingBull

    I am going with Senga purely on gut feel. I love his pitch arsenal and his approach. I love that he wanted to be in a big media market as that indicates that NY won’t faze him. I especially appreciate that he’ll be the #3 starter (or #4) which will take even further pressure off him. He’s going to sneak up on people and not only win ROY but get serious CY votes too.

  • NYM6986

    I’m going with Nimmo. If he can hit .300, which he nearly did in 2021, then he becomes an even bigger offensive piece for this team. He scored 102 runs on 159 hits along with 71 BB. He led the league in triples and had 64 RBI. When you think about 2022, Nimmo had a breakout year at the plate and for that matter in the field. He sets a great example with patience at the plate and showed some pop with 16 HR. Where he needs help is in stealing bases. He has good speed and if he can breakout from the measly 3 from last year he will have turned another corner. So while he won’t get the glory or often be pictured on the back pages of the NY tabloids, I think in this instance the tone starts from the top and if Nimmo has a good start, this season should be a lot of fun.

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