The Braves are coming off three straight NL East titles, and most recently, they finished inches shy of making their first World Series since 1999. After adding Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly, they should undoubtedly be the favorites to win their division again, but the Mets recent additions… and their plan to add more should worry Braves general manager a bit, especially with pressure being at an all-time high following a season in which they were so close to taking home the Commissioner’s Trophy.
In case you missed it, yesterday the Mets finalized a deal with the Indians to acquire Francisco Lindor — arguably the best shortstop in the game. New York also netted Carlos Carrasco in the trade, giving them one of the best starting rotations in baseball to go along with arguably the best offense in baseball.
Here’s a look at what the Mets lineup could look like (assuming there is no DH):
- Francisco Lindor (SS)
- Michael Conforto (RF)
- Pete Alonso (1B)
- Dominic Smith (LF)
- Brandon Nimmo (CF)
- Jeff McNeil (2B)
- J.D. Davis (3B)
- James McCann (C)
- Pitcher’s Spot
Offensively, the Mets might have been in the middle of the pack when it comes to runs scored and home runs, but they actually led the MLB in batting average by four points over the Braves. They were also one of only three teams (Braves and Dodgers being the others) that finished with a team OPS over .800. This was already a ridiculously talented offense, and they just improved considerably by adding Lindor, who has smoked an average of 33 homers over his last three full seasons, and I don’t think the Mets are done.
New York has had a ton of quality young talent on their team over the last couple of seasons. Now, new Mets owner Steve Cohen is ready to back up the Brinks truck and do whatever it takes to make this team a contender for years to come. I don’t think Lindor is a one-year fix; I imagine Cohen will make sure he’s a lifelong Met, but Cohen doesn’t have to worry about that right now. Nearly every high-quality free agent is still available, and New York will be ruffling the feathers on all of them, including George Springer — the top outfielder on the market. Reportedly, the Mets remain the favorite to sign him even after the Lindor trade.
"The Mets are still the front runners for George Springer … I'm not betting against Steve Cohen winning a championship over the next 3-5 years."@JimBowdenGM says @StevenACohen2 and the Mets aren't done yet! pic.twitter.com/BYMhXAGkxc
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) January 7, 2021
That’s a site I don’t think any Braves fan wants to see, but this team isn’t solely built around their offense. They have one of the best rotations — on paper — in the game as well.
That’s about as good as it gets, folks, and as I just mentioned, they may not even be done. Of course, health with Syndergaard and even Stroman is a question mark, but my guess is both will be fully healthy at some point in 2021. This is a loaded roster with championship aspirations, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. That should put pressure on the Braves brass to get stuff done. Alex Anthopoulos can only do so much with the budget he provided, but I imagine he still has plenty of tricks up his sleeve this offseason. Either way, the road to a fourth straight NL East title just got a whole lot trickier.