Mets Boost Lineup, Sign JD Martinez

The Mets went out and did the opposite of what many fans bvelieved they do this offseason: get a real DH. The Mets signed JD Martinez to a one-year/$12M deal for the 2024 season. The deal will only cost the Mets $2 million this year, and the remainder will be deferred from 2034-2038. This is an absolute STEAL of a contract for a hitter of his caliber. His Mets career will start in the minor leagues, as he ramps up his spring training regiment (since he was such a late signing, he needs to take more live at-bats before joining the major league team). His targeted debut looks to be their April 7th game against Cincinnati. 

Mets First DH in Team History

Finally, the Mets have a legitimate designated hitter on the team. The DH has only been in the National League since 2022. Yes, it’s a bit dramatic to say this is the first true DH in the team’s long history. With that said, DH has been a massive hole on the team since that year. The inability to fill the hole during the 2022 season is a of the reason the Mets were unable to make a legitimate playoff run. If you’re a die-hard fan like myself, you probably still have nightmares of Darin Ruf and Daniel Vogelbach. It was painful watching them take crucial at-bats while we collapsed in the divisional race. 

JD Martinez is a world class hitter. At 36 years old, he is a six time all-star who is aging like a fine wine. He can hit righties and lefties, he has excellent plate discipline, he has postseason experience. This dude checks every box you could look for in a DH. He batted .271 last year and had a 134 OPS+ (well above the league average of 100).

Mets Will Not Punt 2024

Last year after being traded, former ace Max Scherzer said the Mets had shared plans to “punt” the 2024 season. It hurt, but based on the relatively passive off-season the Mets had, a lot of fans were concerned that this would be the case.

Signing Martinez should change the outlook of fans and players alike. A lineup that includes Nimmo, Lindor, Alonso, Martinez, Alvarez, Marte, and McNeil on a daily basis should not be taken lightly. The pitching staff will still be an adventure, but the signing of Martinez means owner Steve Cohen and GM David Stearns aren’t ready to let this season go to waste.

Pete has Protection

The Mets have a player on the team who might have the opportunity to hit 500 career home runs and one day land in the hall of fame. The team’s inability to protect him in the lineup with a legitimate power bat has been an issue over the last few years. Now, we have acquired a player who can still put up incredible home run numbers. In a contract year, when there are questions about his return to the team, Alonso gets a true professional hitter behind him. This should force teams to pitch to Pete in tough situations. 

If anything, I think Pete will appreciate this for a couple reasons:

1) The team understands that the better Pete performs this year, the more expensive he will be in free agency, and signing JD truly means they want the best for him regardless of circumstance.

2) From a winning perspective it proves to him that the team isn’t going to let any years of his career go to waste.

Vientos Future?

Seemingly everybody on the team is thrilled with the JD signing, but one player who cannot be happy is Mark Vientos. It appeared like the team was prepared to put their faith in him. To be honest, I was convinced they would let him be their opening day DH after he led the team in homers during the spring. But there were far too many swings and misses in between homers, and he unfortunately will not be starting the season with the major league team at all.

He was interviewed the day of the signing and although he said all the right things, you can hear the bitterness in his voice. It’s a tough pill to swallow for him. Hopefully, he can find his swing in the minors and do some damage at a later date.


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