Eighteen games into the MLB season is certainly not the time to panic or throw in the towel. The Red Sox are currently 9-9 in the first two plus weeks of the new year. In a 162 game season, it’s hard to get a read on who are the good and bad teams right now. The new rules (pitch clock, shifts, etc.) and the inconsistent April weather make it even more difficult to gauge who are the outliers among the 30 MLB teams. However, many feel the Sox had a disappointing offseason, and feelings were mixed coming into the season. Combine that with a rocky start for the starting rotation, losing their best hitter to start the season in Adam Duvall, and some hot starts from division rivals, and you get a feeling around the ballpark that things are starting to get a bit lethargic.
Time to panic?
It’s still only mid-April and a disappointing offseason is no reason to force anything, but if things don’t progress in the next few weeks then it might be time for Chaim Bloom to make a call. That doesn’t mean making a move even by mid-May. That means start asking if teams plan on buying and if they have interest in any Boston players. That first call should be to Bill Eppler, General Manager for the New York Mets.
The New York Mets
During the World Baseball Classic, Mets closer Edwin Diaz injured his patellar tendon in his right knee that required surgery, and is unlikely he will play this season. Mets Owner, Steve Cohen, is the most aggressive owner in baseball right now. He has thrown big contracts at Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Francisco Lindor. He also tried to sign Carlos Correa to a 12-year, $315 million contract before a failed physical derailed the deal. Still, Stevie has not been shy about reaching deep into his wallet to bring in the most talent.
The Mets will be looking to bolster the back end of their bullpen. Kenley Jansen has been a bright spot for the Sox through the first eighteen games. It’s been vintage Jansen to start the season by striking out nine in six innings, going 4/4 in save opportunities, with zero runs allowed. Six innings is a small sample size but he’s looked good. Justin Turner is another name that could help the Mets. They rank 28th in the league in batting average, 20th in OPS, and 12th in runs. The depth of the Mets lineup leaves a lot to be desired. Mets 3B, Eduardo Escobar, is currently batting .125, with one homerun and six RBI’s. At age 34, Escobar just isn’t getting it done offensively. Justin Turner, though four years older, batted .278 last season and collected 81 RBI’s. He was red hot in the second half as well, batting over .300. He’s proven to be a clutch playoff performer for the Dodgers and a great locker room presence. If things don’t get better in Boston, Jansen and Turner could be good selling pieces for the New York Mets.