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AAOP: Pop and Lock(out)

As the title suggests, the goal of this AAOP is to add pop to the lineup and lockdown the starting rotation. (There is also a reference to the lockout that definitely won't happen since we have the guy in figure 1.)

Figure 1, A man who definitely loves baseball.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

However, before I can start this AAOP, I must understand what went wrong in the 2021 season. Looking back, the 2021 season, like other Mets seasons, was very painful and had a heartbreaking collapse late in the year. But what went wrong? Every Met fan will give you a different answer, but I have found two reasonable explanations from my own observations and the theories posted in the Amazin Avenue comments section. (Shout out to you guys for being awesome!)

Figure 2, AA is the best.

First, the team's starting pitching fell apart. Jacob deGrom got hurt in July. Taijuan Walker and Tylor Megill showed fatigue and lost effectiveness in the second half. Carlos Carrasco came back from injury and was also ineffective. All these pitching issues overwhelmed the Mets and the depth they had.

Second, the team had multiple offensive players regress due to a more deadened ball. Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Dom Smith all had very disappointing years. Some theorized that these players had sold out for more power when Manfred supposedly switched for a "juiced ball" and were now struggling because Manfred went back to a more deadened ball.

Using these two reasons as my guide, I will try to avoid the mistakes of the 2021 Mets.

THE EARLY OFFSEASON STUFF

This a recap of what has happened so far. The Mets hired Billy Eppler as the next GM of the Mets. The Mets offered Qualifying Offers to Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto, and both rejected, giving the Mets two compensatory picks after the second round. Steve Cohen also said that he is willing to spend money to improve this team.

And here are the givens: The Mets have 36 of 40 roster spots filled before the Rule 5 Draft and a current payroll of 185 Million. Let the games begin!

THE HEADLINERS

Marcus Stroman, RHP, 5 years / 120 Million