What if tomorrow were Opening Day? An aging Johan Santana would likely be the starting pitcher, the outfield would be among the worst in the league, and the bullpen would frighten Mets fans more than opposing hitters. The 2013 season outlook would be grim. How many games would such a team win?
Using only the current 40-man roster, I put together my preferred 2013 Mets team and estimated each player's wins above replacement (WAR). Standard caveats apply; these projections aren't scientific and the roster will likely look different come the real Opening Day. Here goes:
If we assume ~48 wins for a replacement level team, this looks like a 72-74 win squad. Some thoughts:
- More than 25 players are listed to meet plate appearance and innings pitched benchmarks.
- The WAR projections skew conservative. Leading candidates to buck these projections are Ike Davis, David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud, and Matt Harvey. The bullpen projection is probably too optimistic; the 2012 Mets' 'pen was about replacement level over the last two seasons.
- Signed players like Andrew Brown and Omar Quintanilla will be in the mix to make the team but adding them to the group above wouldn't make much of a difference.
- You just know Chris Young will be back in the rotation. Sandy Alderson doesn't know how to quit him.