One year ago, Starling Marte was coming off a very good first season with the Mets. Today, the 35-year-old outfielder looks like one of the biggest question marks on the team’s roster moving forward.
In 2022, the first season of a four-year deal that Marte signed with the Mets, Marte hit .292/.347/.468 with a 134 wRC+ in 505 plate appearances and had a solid 2.9 fWAR. Unfortunately for Marte and the Mets, he suffered an injury in early September, missed the rest of the month as the Mets wound up letting the division title—and the bye that would have come with it—slip away. He was able to get back into the lineup for the Wild Card round, but he went just 2-for-12 with one walk and a .398 OPS in that series.
Following the season, Marte had core muscle surgery, and the hope was that he would come into the 2023 season fully healthy. But he never really looked right this year—at the plate and especially in the field. He wound up making just 341 plate appearances and hit a putrid .248/.301/.324 with a 76 wRC+. He missed significant time with injury and could need a repeat of the surgery he had last year.
How the Mets approach the offseason, their first under David Stearns and, potentially, a forthcoming new general manager, remains to be seen. Marte figures to be very difficult to move, though, and until the Mets make other moves, he’d be one of their top outfielders heading into Opening Day—if healthy.
Given the uncertainty, the Mets shouldn’t count on Marte being that high on their outfield depth chart, though. With two years left on his contract, it looks like any positive contributions the Mets would get out of Marte would be gravy at this point. Perhaps he’ll turn that perception around in 2024, but the Mets should make sure he’s fully recovered, even if that means delaying the start of his season in hopes of getting much better production.