Will the Mets Win 75 Games in 2014?

It’s still early in the offseason, and the Mets may yet add more pieces to the puzzle.

But, with the way the team stands now, how many wins do you think it can accumulate in the 2014 season?

Inspired by loyal MetsToday reader and commenter “argonbunnies“:

There’s a call for W-L predictions upthread. I can never resist those, so here’s mine. As currently constructed, I think the 2014 Mets are set up for a 3rd straight 74-win season.

Granderson + Colon + Young are unlikely to make up for the loss of what Harvey and Byrd gave us in 2013, plus Gee and Wright might not be quite as good. Hawkins also had a very good year that will take some luck or some money (far more than the $2.5 mil the Rockies gave him) to replace.

The Mets’ best hope for improvement lies in the growth of their own young players. If d’Arnaud and Flores can hit the way scouts thought they would, and Lagares can hit the way he’s hit in other leagues, and Wheeler can find his filthy stuff without shredding his shoulder, then these Mets can crack .500. I’ll take the under on everything breaking the Mets’ way, but I’d guess someone will improve enough to offset the losses elsewhere and bring us back to 74 wins.

Add a SS, a bunch of good relievers, and good luck with the youngsters, and .500 should be achievable, with wild card contention a possibility. So we’ll see what the rest of the winter brings.

Make your prediction based on the current roster, and any comments on what kinds of additions will result in how many more wins.

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Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. blastingzone December 18, 2013 at 7:51 am
    If Colon has a year anywhere near the year he had and the natural progression of Wheeler along with good years
    by Gee and Niese would send the mets close to if not over
    500 and if Mejia or whoever is the 5th starter is (Montero) has a good year than maybe even better? The mets have the making of a solid if not a very good starting pitching staff and with Granderson who has the talent to have a better year than Byrd hr’s and rbi’s wise and Young who
    should hit at least 20 hr’s along with Lagares from the
    start of the season is a better out field than last years
    and if Wright being healthy and having protection in the
    line up not to mention a 5th hitter in Young and Travis on
    the mets and in the line up from the beginning of the year
    should help improve the mets from the start? Now if Ike
    or Duda can produce the mets might just shock a lot of
    people!!
  2. DanB December 18, 2013 at 9:57 am
    2014 isn’t about wins and losses. It is about whether the new pieces will fit in over the long term. Will the opening day outfield be the opening day outfield in 2015? How about the infield? I think only Granderson and Wright will be back in 2015. The pitching staff has more long term potential even if we don’t know which prospects will rise to the top. Wins? Still very early in preseason but it is shaking out to be 73 to 78 win season.
    • Joe Janish December 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm
      If 2014 is not about wins and losses then Sandy and Co. have a lot of ‘splainin to do.
  3. Steve Hussy December 18, 2013 at 10:36 am
    I went through my reasons on another post, but I think 78 wins is a sane prediction right now. With my glass half full of alcohol, I’ll go with 81 wins, banking on a number of things going exactly right. No injuries. I am a Legares fan too. I don’t think you can teach his lightning fast reactions in the field, but I do hope you can teach him the strike zone. He’s also still a kid and if people are saying Pelf can still improve because he’s under 30, then they should cut Legares some slack too.

    I’m hoping with a few extra moves, the Mets can move up to 85 wins. I refuse to be downbeat over the situation until seeing the picture at the end of Spring Training. And I like some of the names mentioned in possible Davis trades.

    • martym December 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm
      I think the win losses will be determined on how many errors we make Its simple little numbers of errors more wins we have, more errors less wins. every team is capable of 80 to 85 wins. It comes down to the team that makes the least amount of errors wins the most.
  4. Andrew Lloyd December 18, 2013 at 11:42 am
    I see 2014 as a transitional year, similar to 2005 when I *think* the Mets went .500 – first Beltran/Randolph year, I think? So I see them being somewhere near .500, give or take, with the dial pointed up for 2015.

    Understood that last year Buck, Byrd and Harvey are all not on this year’s roster after making major contributions to some of the W’s they did collect last year, and there’s a question as to whether even that production has been replaced or not.

    I personally think there’s easily the potential to get more from D’Arnaud and Granderson than Buck/Byrd, and even Colon than Harvey, given that he only pitched about 2/3 of the season.

    Given how bad Gee was through May, when he looked dazed and admitted he “didn’t know what was going on”, and how great he was after, if he can just be consistent this year he’ll reproduce his production from last yr.

    But you also have a full year from Wheeler, in which he could feasibly take a big step forward; you have the potential for major contributions from Mejia and Syndegaard come July. They can hardly get worse production from SS and 1B, so figure some measure of improvement. There’s just more roster depth overall, too, given that the developing talent is a year closer – Walters, Leathersich, Montero, etc etc. There will probably be another Lagares lurking in there – not to mention, there’s Lagares, who could take a step forward on offense.

    It’s optimistic, and the Mets are great at throwing cold water on optimism – watch David Wright and Travis D’A open the season on the DL – but hey, it’s the winter time. Dare to dream.

  5. DaveSchneck December 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm
    My take is a little different that those above. I do not see it as acceptable that 2014 is handled or viewed as a “transitional year” (based upon the definition of transitional). I do agree with the points that the pieces added in 2014 need to either fit beyond 2014 (Grandy), have limited commitments (C Young, Colon), or don’t cost significant prospects. So far, Alderson has held true. the goal for 2014 is that Met fans should not be disappointed. 81 wins to me would be a disappointment, and winning 81 and coming in 3rd 20 games behind the Nats is a disaster. Either a playoff appearance or falling just short is the minimum. That could be enough to re-ignite the fan base into actually buying more tickets and watching more games on SNY. These are the requiremetns to increase revenue going forward, and increased revenue is the only way to sustain the necessary expansion of payroll. Yeah, the As and Rays compete on moneyball. Look at the last 5 years – how many final 4 teams were in the bottom half of the payroll ranks? It’s about getting to and winning world series’, at least in NYC it is.
    • Andrew Lloyd December 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm
      Oh, there’s no question of it being acceptable or not – I was just predicting based on where they are now roster-wise. 81 wins and 3rd place is nothing to get excited about and really just shows you how low expectations have fallen. But, at the risk of being redundant, 81 is still better than 74.

      I think being realistic, a demonstrable improvement (to .500-ish) will keep the inmates (as in, us) somewhat quiet. Another low 70’s win total will result in French revolution style uproar. But I actually truly don’t think that will happen.

      K, maybe I should do some actual work, huh…

      • argonbunnies December 18, 2013 at 6:07 pm
        I actually disagree that 81 is better than 74. I think contending is better than not contending, and I don’t care about the different shades of non-contending except insofar as they point toward contending in the future.

        Suppose the Mets could win either (a) 70 games in 2014 and 90 in 2015 or (b) 80 games in 2014 and 85 in 2015. I’d sign up for (a) in a heartbeat.

        Accordingly, the front office can only make me happy in two ways right now: (1) add so much more talent right away that the Mets compete in 2014, or (2) acquire enough top prospects to rank as a top-3 minor league organization and forecast sustained future success. This latter is easier said than done, so barring some genius moves, I’m with Dave.

        • DanB December 18, 2013 at 6:37 pm
          In Omar’s last season, their minors was ranked somewhere between 18 to 20. After almost four years of trading away their top players (Beltran, Dickey, Byrd) and drafting in the top 11 and not giving away prospects or draft picks the Mets are now ranked 15. The climb up to a top minors system has been slow. Spending $85 million and having a middle of the road minors is not promising. Once again I agree with Dave and AB
  6. izzy December 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm
    We’ve been hearinf from the Alder-aplogists for years that 2014 is the year. Now, we are hearing otherwise????? how can this be? And why are people giving him credit for being so incompetent/ What has he done. He has handed the starting catching job to an injury prone guy who has been a “prospect” for an eternity, and he has provided no back-up of major league back up quality, he has turned first and third into a shambles. Second and third he probably got maximum prosuction out of both last year and improvement at either position would be miraculous. The outfield, he has gotten one legit outfielder and has also added Ike Davis’ right handed cousin to hit 200 and cool the fans off whffing. In the pen he has a guy closing who is a giant question mark and has let go a set up man stud and solid back up closer because he was “too old”! And he is hoping to fill the pen with wild guys or in injured guys. The rotation, he replaced a super star kid with a fat old out of shape PEDster who achieved a miracle by very dubious means and is asking this guy to cheat for two more years when he could have had a certain ex Met who rejuvinated his career in Cleveland last year for 1 mil a year more, a guy with upside, and who has never cheated nor gotten out of shape. Yes, id he has a 75 win team then hios best move would be keeping Collins because 75 wins takes a great manager with today’s Alderson roster.
    • DaveSchneck December 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm
      Izzy, Izzy, Izzy,
      I believe Alderson himself stated after the Colon signing that 2014 is about winning. It is Dec. 18, the 2014 team is a work in progress. I think win predictions should be held until the opening day roster is set. A couple of other points – Colon is not replacing Harvey, Wheeler is replacing Harvey. Colon is replacing Marcum/Hefner. Murphy had a solid offensive season last year but I would not call a .319 OBP maximum production, nor would I call Wright missing 30% of the season maximum production from 3rd. Yes, there are question marks and lots of work to be done, but it is still doable and there is time, if they really do want to win in 2014.
      • Joe Janish December 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm
        If Colon replaces Hefner/Marcum and Wheeler replaces Harvey, then who replaces Wheeler?
        • Steve S. December 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm
          Syndergaard.
        • Steve S. December 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm
          As presently constituted, I’ll predict the Mets can win 80 games. With a couple of key additions, by trade and from the minors, they can win 84-85 games.

          The outfield will be better with Lagares > Cowgill, Ankiel, et al. I think Lagares will hit, too (as he has in the minors and winter leagues). Granderson probably won’t be as good as Byrd ’13, but the two Youngs will be much better than Kirk, Brown, Baxter, and Valdespin.

          Colon, Wheeler, Niese, Gee and Meija/Harang/whomever (followed by Syndergaard or Montero) will be at least as good as Harvey, Niese, Gee, Hefner, and Marcum. Wheeler will get 20 more starts and Gee 15.

          The bullpen will be improved a bit, as well, even with the loss of Hawkins. Parnell should be healthy and close more games; Torres is a good long man/spot starter; Black has a good arm (and is here for the whole season); German, Rice, and Edgin are more experienced.

          d’Arnaud, now healthy and with his 100 ABs late last year, should be an above-average hitter at catcher.

          Duda should hit 20+ HRs and get on base, with Satin spelling him against tough lefties; Murphy is solid at 2B; and Wright play an additional 40+ games. The big problem is shortstop and leadoff, which I’m hoping will be improved via trade. And, anyway, SS can’t be worse this year than Tejada and Quintanilla were last year.

        • Joe Janish December 19, 2013 at 1:24 am
          Are the Mets moving to a 4-man rotation? I can’t figure out another way that Wheeler will make 37 starts and Gee, 47.

          Anderson Hernandez hit well in the minors and winter leagues (I believe he won at least one, maybe two batting titles in the winter).

          To me this is an extremely optimistic view of how individuals will perform. But that’s your right, that’s what this is all about, and we’ll see how it plays out.

        • Steve S. December 19, 2013 at 10:46 am
          Oops, my mistake on the additional starts (I looked at the wrong column on a stats chart): none for Gee; 15 for Wheeler.

          I believe Lagares can play most of the time in CF if he manages his post-All-Star game OPS of .654 (which he should be able to do, even exceed.)

          Change in present prediction: The Mets can win 77 games. With a couple of key additions, by trade and from the minors, they can win 81-82 games.

    • crozier December 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm
      Izzy, I’m genuinely curious to know if you read your posts before you hit “submit.” Do you give it a once over and think, “yeah, that reads okay”?

      I’m guessing…not. But then, maybe you say to yourself, “yeah, that reads like a rabid dog, if the dog could type and was trained to attack Sandy Alderson on sight.”

      In which case, hats off; you are never not awesome. Now come on, let’s do beers and have a real discussion sometime.

      • argonbunnies December 19, 2013 at 12:25 am
        99% of the time I hate rudeness on the internet and wish it would go away. I’ll probably regret encouraging this sort of thing, but this

        “yeah, that reads like a rabid dog, if the dog could type and was trained to attack Sandy Alderson on sight.”

        made me actually LOL. Props, Crozier.

        • crozier December 19, 2013 at 10:24 am
          You’ve made me feel a little guilty; I prefer civil discourse myself. Though in my defense, my comments to Izzy are my way of speaking his language. Rude is his approach, and I just think he wouldn’t trust my response if I were polite.
  7. CleonJames December 18, 2013 at 6:09 pm
    69-71 wins. This team is not as good as last year it’s as simple as that. There is no body left on the free agent or trading market that I believe will change things. the mets still suck, but some of the young players will develop paving the way for a very good 2015. 2014’s offense will be more anemic, and without Harvey, the rotation will falter.
  8. Steven A December 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm
    I am willing to believe that finally something unexpected will happen on the good (I have a feeling it will be one of our young hitters (Duda, Lagares or D’Arnaud) turns into a stud) and we will win 80.
    • DanB December 18, 2013 at 6:41 pm
      Steven, the Mets have had their share of unexpected good things. Who would of expected Dickey to win the Cy Young and return three top prospects? Similar thing with Byrd. And who expected Harvey to be so good?
      • Joe Janish December 19, 2013 at 1:26 am
        Good points, Dan.

        I’m feeling sorry for Wheeler, as many, many fans seem to be expecting him to be as good as Harvey was last year — and Harvey was one of the top 3 pitchers in the league. Tall order for a young man.

        • DaveSchneck December 19, 2013 at 9:55 am
          Joe,
          The point I made regarding Wheeler being Harvey’s replacement was more from the profile perspective and not from the individual performance perspective. Yes, Harvey individually was dominant last year, so dominant in fact that his elbow broke. From that perspective, I hope Wheeler isn”t as dominant if it means pushing himself to the physical brink. What I mean is that Wheeler at the beginning of 2014 is in the same place Harvey was at the beginning of 2013 – 2nd year in the bigs, first full season in the bigs, potential to be a #2ish type starter but some uncertaintly as to how he will progress. Again, I see replacing Harvey’s 2013 as starting 26 games, throwing 170ish innings, and the Mets going 13-13 in hos starts, I don’t see it as putting up the Cy Young type peripherals, although those surely wouldn’t hurt. Also, regarding the Wheeler replacement, that would be the winner of the Mejia-Montero-deGrom-scrap heap-vet-invitee-yet-to-be-invited guy.
  9. Rob December 18, 2013 at 6:54 pm
    Not really part of this thread, but an interesting question nonetheless, is whether the Mets will be in a position to keep all of the long-term talent that they appear to be developing in their system. Right now, they are refusing to spend any money on top tier free agents and that trend will probably continue into the foreseeable future. So what happens when all the talent that they are developing starts to play in the big show? Four years from now, all of the talent becomes arbitration eligible. So do they pay the asking price? Or do they act like the As and the Rays and reboot like a small market team. That’s a worrisome scenario for me, because the way they’ve been acting (like a small market team) suggests that all that talent will be continually recycled to keep that payroll nice and low. Am I wrong? Does anyone have a sense? Is it too far out to worry about right now? I keep wanting to think of Harvey and Syndergaard and all the other talented guys coming up…but I keep thinking Reyes.
    • Joe Janish December 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm
      Rob, I think you bring up an excellent point — maybe good for another post in the very near future.

      But the Mets do have several years to figure out a way to pay Harvey, d’Arnaud, Wheeler, etc. — I don’t think any of them are eligible for free agency until 2019. So it may be premature to be concerned, but it is still worthy of discussion.

  10. Q December 18, 2013 at 9:02 pm
    I think 84 is a respectable number. Washington improved, Atlanta is good, and, I see Philadelphia and Miami as thorns in our side. I think the addition of Colon will help, hopefully Mejia sticks, and the modest production from the platoons at first and left (assuming Sandy gets a guy who can hit righties to spell Young/Young), the Mets should be able to be a good team, but not a great one. Sign me up for 84.
  11. crozier December 18, 2013 at 10:27 pm
    The Mets had a horrible April/May in 2013, something that gets overlooked when judging the season. But there was a period of 62 games – starting with Wheeler’s call up and ending with Harvey’s injury and around Byrd’s departure – when they played their best. I don’t consider 62 games a small sample. The result? Perfectly average: 31-31.

    So in 2014, Colon replaces Harvey, in whose 26 starts the Mets were also perfectly average. I think Colon can replicate that, and should fare better (I also think Harvey would do much, much better, but no point in whining). Granderson should be a small upgrade over Byrd, and I sure hope d’Arnaud improves over Buck’s dismal effort post-April.

    If Granderson/Wright/C. Young/Duda (I’m guessing) mesh, there will be decent power in the middle of the lineup. This team will score more runs.

    Yeah, if, if, if. But I don’t see how they don’t improve marginally over 74 wins, and mid-80s is definitely possible.

    • argonbunnies December 19, 2013 at 12:48 am
      Harvey pitched on some bad days for the offense and bullpen. Whoever gets his luck in 2014 probably won’t get the team to 13-13 on those days. I don’t think the O is improved that much, and the ‘pen could be better or worse.

      Granderson’s a better player than Byrd, but I’m not expecting Granderson’s 2014 to be better than Byrd’s 2013.

      Marginal improvement sounds reasonable to me, but I’d call a jump of 7-10 more than marginal.

    • Joe Janish December 19, 2013 at 1:36 am
      I don’t overlook April/May. To me, those first two months were indicative of a front office that created a 25-man roster that wasn’t prepared to compete in MLB. This was the same issue in the previous two seasons, by the same front office. Suddenly this regime should be expected to figure out how to put together a legit MLB roster from the get-go? Or will we see Josh Satin playing 1B and batting 6th on Opening Day?

      Just because the team finished well doesn’t mean that they’re going to be competitive in 2014. Not to mention, going 12-16 in September and 14-15 August isn’t exactly lighting the league on fire. The Mets were 3 games above .500 in the month of July, and that was the highlight of the season.

      Pardon me for being pessimistic, but to me, the PR line of the Mets going .500 over the final 100 games is exactly that – a PR line.

      • crozier December 19, 2013 at 10:21 am
        Good points from both of you.

        To be clear, I really do think the Mets are a .500 club, inclusive of 2013. I get that the stats don’t back up that assertion, but bad luck did play a role in Harvey’s 26 starts. It wouldn’t have been out of line for the Mets to have finished with 77, 78 wins. So with more power in the lineup in 2014, I can see them as a better than .500 team. To argon’s earlier point, for all that’s worth.

        I can also see injuries, etc. resulting in another 74-win season. But in any case, still way too early to tell.

  12. Joe December 19, 2013 at 1:01 am
    I think the Mets will make at least one more move that will affect the win/loss record, so think this is premature. I do recall various people assuming they would win in the 60s last year. Instead, about what I expected, they won 74.

    Harvey has a shortened year and lack of run support led him to have less wins than even that warranted. Will Colon (who basically is his replacement) going to break down mid-August and have similar luck?

    Granderson and Young with EY Young there, not coming later, is supposed to give us net nothing over the outfield we had last year since Byrd is not there? Guess Lagares perhaps having a full year won’t help give the team more than ONE more win either.

    Likewise, Wheeler will be there from the start over Marcum or Laffey (remember him?). Syn. is likely to come in mid-season as well.

    Also, as noted, I think there is likely to be at least one more piece. Will 1B be the same and SS too? We would assume there will be no upgrade, not even Tejeda having a decent year or whatever Tejeda replacement, not Quintilla spending months there instead.

    Argonbunnies says “marginal improvement” sounds reasonable now. That is more than one more win. To me that sounds like around 80, give or take. I think the Mets should be put to the tend in ’14 and aim to be at least a .500 team, if not more — that is, get some mid-season help to push them so they don’t rely on scrubs in September. But, again, need to see what they do, especially at SS and maybe elsewhere.

    • Joe Janish December 19, 2013 at 1:38 am
      I promise to reopen this discussion after the Mets make another significant move/moves.