Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Are The New York Mets A Contender In The NL East In 2014?

With the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, despite the 2013 failure of the latter, firmly established as National League powerhouses, the National League East is shaping up to be quite the division over the course of the next few years. Despite their status as a punchline, the Miami Marlins have improved this winter and could make some noise, in addition to the New York Mets. With a combination of their young talent coming up and some veteran additions, they’re a team to keep an eye on as we move forward.

Of course, any discussion over whether or not the Mets are a team to be taken seriously has to note the fact that Matt Harvey will likely miss all of the 2014 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. If that’s the case, it’s hard not to think that the Mets will be extremely well positioned for a serious playoff run by the 2015 season.

In any case, it’s worth exploring whether or not the Mets will be a wild card threat in 2014. With the Braves and the Nats ahead of most of the National League, let alone the NL East, it’s nearly impossible to consider them a threat for a division title. Nonetheless, they could make some noise as a wild card threat out of the National League next year. While they’re far from a lock for even a wild card berth, the 2014 season should present some serious improvement for the up and coming squad.

The Mets will enter the season that features a rotation that includes Bartolo Colon and Zack Wheeler at the top. Both have questions, with Colon’s stemming from age and injury, and Wheeler’s coming due to his youth. Dillon Gee is a solid arm in the middle of that mix and you could do worse than Jon Niese at the back of your rotation. Then there’s the matter of Noah Snydergaard, the super prospect set to make his Mets debut at some point during the 2014 campaign. Even without Harvey, this has the potential to be a fun group to watch, although it’s not an extraordinarily deep one.

The 2014 lineup, as things stand right now for the New York Mets, looks like this:

That may not be a championship caliber lineup on paper, but it’s one of the better ones you’ll find around the National League. Travis d’Arnaud is hoping for a breakout 2014 season as one of the top prospects in all of baseball. Ike Davis is a trade candidate, but a very solid option at first if he sticks around. Granderson and Young add some power to the outfield mix, while Legares quietly brings one of the better gloves in all of baseball to center field. Again, there are questions here, but it’s an intriguing group and could be a fun one to watch.

The New York Mets may not find themselves in a playoff position when the 2014 regular season comes to an end. But at the very least, this is an up-and-coming team that presents plenty of intrigue and the new campaign should bring about some serious improvement for a club that has made big strides over the last couple years in cutting payroll and building up their organizational depth. They’re not a contender quite yet, but they’re well on their way to becoming one.

Tags: Bartolo Colon Curtis Granderson David Wright Matt Harvey New York Mets

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