Maybe the Mets' best move was hiring a veteran-winning manager when they hired Buck Showalter on a 3-year deal. Thus far that move is paying off as the Mets have a 97-58 record and are tied with the Braves for 1st place in the NL East on September 27th. They've clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2016.
Buck Showalter, 65 (1551-1517, .506%) is a proven winner who's managed in New York with the Yankees and managed Texas, Arizona, and Baltimore. Collectively he has 20 years of experience as an MLB manager. He's a no-nonsense winner who gets the most out of his players. He last managed in 2018 with Baltimore.
Considering the Mets' two previous managers; Mickey Callaway and Luis Rojas didn't have experience as an MLB manager, it was a no-brainer considering the Cohen has spent tons of money and the Mets are built to win now. They signed ace Max Scherzer to a 3-year $130 million deal and signed free agent CF Starling Marte.
Cohen himself had said he didn't want someone learning the job as manager on his dime.
On (11/29) the Mets made MLB history by paying a player $43.33 million per season. They landed the free-agent pitcher they've coveted most; Max Scherzer. The cost is a record-breaking $130,000,000 over 3-years. There's an opt-out after the 2nd year.
The 37-year-old, 3x Cy Young Award winner turns 38 on July 27th. His $130 million deal is the 5th most in team history just below ace Jacob deGrom who scored a $137 million deal from the frugal Wilpons.
Mighty Max despite being 37, had an amazing year in 2021. He went 15-4 with a 2.46 ERA for two teams last season, the Nationals and Dodgers. With the Dodgers who acquired him in a trade at the trade deadline, he went 7-0.
He's a for-sure hall of Famer with a 199-100 record to go with 3,157 strikeouts and a 3.12 ERA.
If the above wasn't enough, the Mets on Black Friday Mets made other moves to improve their team offensively, and defensively as well as add depth. Their outfield is now complete if you factor in Brandon Nimmo playing one of the corners of the outfield.
They've reached an agreement with center fielder Starling Marte on a 4-year, $78 million contract. Marte is 33 and has earned two Gold Glove awards.
Mets also have added infielder Eduardo Escobar. The 32-year-old veteran is a switch-hitter and versatile infielder. He plays every position in the infield and has power. In 2019 with Arizona he hit 35 HRs and had 118 RBIs. Last season he hit 28 and drove in 90 runs.
In addition, they gave a 2-year, $26.5 million deal to outfielder Mark Canha. The former A's OF also has a 3rd-year option.
All those above player moves with a more productive Lindor have contributed to the Mets' success this season up to now. Showalter has proven to me he often pushed the right buttons and makes more smart moves, unlike the head-scratching ones an inexperienced Luis Rojas used to make.
Clearly, Showalter is part of the reason the Mets are in 1st place in the NL East.