billy eppler mets
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The marathon that was negotiations between the Mets and Carlos Correa is finally over. For those who wanted him alongside Francisco Lindor, the conclusion was not ideal. But at this point, it’s good to just move on. It felt like New York was in a holding pattern until there was a resolution.

Adding him to the lineup would’ve been a substantial upgrade, but it’s not like the Mets are now a last-place team (no matter what some people may say). This is still a squad fresh off winning 101 games that reloaded with a number of top free agents.

If you want a little context, just look at FanGraphs’ depth-chart projections. While third base becomes one of New York’s weaker positions, they’re still projected to be among baseball’s best teams. The Mets’ 51.7 combined fWAR ranks third-best in baseball right now. It’s slightly better than the Atlanta Braves (50.2) and trailing only the Yankees (52.9) and San Diego Padres (52.0).

So, for those thinking that losing out on Correa is the end of the world, it’s not. Adding him would’ve been amazing (especially in the short term), but it was a luxury. Not a necessity.

Now that this is finally over, though, how should the Mets be focusing forward?

Mets’ offense

Before the agreement with Correa shocked the baseball world, there was one major criticism of the Mets’ offense: it looks the same as the 2022 club.

And while that’s mostly true, I’ve never really had a problem with that. Yes, they were streaky in the second half and sputtered out when it mattered most. But for the majority of the year, the lineup was excellent. When looking at team wRC+, the Mets’ 116 mark was the third-best in baseball.

Let’s not forget that this was with James McCann taking some at-bats, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith not holding down the DH spot, the Darin Ruf experience, a slumping Eduardo Escobar through August, and a month of Starling Marte on the injured list.

Even with Correa in the fold, the Mets were looking for another bat to acquire. I talked about three hitters that could fill a fourth-outfielder role for New York in 2023. Without Correa, Jurickson Profar becomes more interesting, but Adam Duvall and Trey Mancini also make sense.

Whatever happens, it seems like the big acquisitions are done. The Mets will report to Spring Training and see what they have ahead of Opening Day. There will be hopes that Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, and/or Mark Vientos can show they’re ready for regular at-bats. And if so, maybe that’ll facilitate an exit for Ruf if his struggles continue.

New York’s pitching staff

The Mets’ pitching staff is the area of their roster that needed a major overhaul. At the outset of free agency, the only two hurlers with significant experience guaranteed to return were Max Scherzer and Drew Smith. But that’s when the moves started to happen.

New York exercised Carlos Carrasco’s team option, Edwin Diaz re-signed, and then Billy Eppler and Co. dipped into free agency and the trade market. The acquisitions included Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, Kodai Senga, Brooks Raley, Adam Ottavino (again), and David Robertson, as well as some depth signings.

Reports immediately after the Correa agreement stated the Mets were also still looking for another reliever. Just hours after news broke of Correa to the Twins, New York went back to work. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported the club has shown interest in Zack Britton, who has ties to Buck Showalter during their Baltimore Orioles days.

One would imagine major pitching acquisitions are done this winter for New York, too. But if they make another big splash, I feel like it’d be for the bullpen.

Focus on expanding run differential

Eppler has talked several times about improving the Mets’ run differential. He’s talked about it this winter and he mentioned it upon getting hired in November 2021. One of the first thoughts to improve run differential is to, well, score more runs. We all know that’s not the only way to accomplish this goal, though.

That’s right — the Mets could also improve their run differential by not giving up as many runs.

Even with losing Jacob deGrom to the Texas Rangers, New York’s rotation fWAR is currently projected to be the second-best in baseball. There’s an argument to be made that the bullpen is stronger than last year’s version, too. The 4.4 fWAR this area of the roster is projected for is also MLB’s second-best mark.

There’s likely hope that some of their top prospects run with the opportunity of receiving regular big-league at-bats. However, there’s probably also an expectation that the pitching staff will be more consistently effective.

Freeing up money for Mets’ other needs

We know team owner Steve Cohen has enough money to literally do whatever he wants. But if this offseason has proven anything, it’s that he’s willing to go to unprecedented levels to get the Mets what he thinks they need to be successful.

The money saved from the Correa agreement falling apart can help in other ways. This would allow New York to take on a bigger contract at the trade deadline to get the boost the roster needs for the stretch run (unlike last summer). It can also give the Mets the flexibility to lock up homegrown stars before they hit free agency.

You know who I’m talking about — Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil. Let’s make that happen, pronto. The rest could be also be used for another free-agent pursuit next winter. Like… for Shohei Ohtani. Just sayin’.

Overall, we can expect the heavy lifting of the Mets’ offseason to be done. And boy, was it a memorable one. This is a good team that will be competitive in 2023. And if certain needs arise ahead of the trade deadline (they will because they always do), there’s more financial flexibility to go big instead of shying away from it again.

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.