Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is very excited about his club's outlook for the 2020 season.
Appearing Tuesday's Mets Hot Stove, Van Wagenen expressed his confidence in the current roster, highlighting the team's strong second-half effort in 2019.
"We have talent, we have experience, and we have a team that's returning from last year that's carrying a great deal of momentum and confidence," said Van Wagenen. "So, we're very excited to get these guys in camp."
"The first half of the year last year, we were in a lot of close games and we couldn't figure out how to win those games. Second half of the year, that changed. The team had a better focus. The team had better chemistry and understanding of the small margin of error between winning and losing, and I think the goal is that they can carry that over into this year."
While most of the team remains intact from last season, one potential huge addition is outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who missed last season recovering from multiple ankle and heel injuries.
And while Van Wagenen explained that it's 'way too early' to tell if the 34-year-old will be ready for Opening Day, he still expressed how pleased the Mets have been with the slugger's progress.
"He has his uniform back on. We watched him take batting practice out here (Monday). That's a huge start," said Van Wagenen. "A lot of us have missed seeing him play over the last two seasons. He's worked incredibly hard, but to see him with a bat in his hands, to see him playing catch and taking balls in the outfield is really exciting. As we look forward to spring training, we don't want to put too many expectations on him, but we want to keep the progress that we've made so far."
And while Cespedes could be a huge boost to the Mets' lineup, the team could get another huge boost if Edwin Diaz, who struggled as the closer in 2019, can revert back to his lights-out self that he was with the Mariners.
Van Wagenen discussed that the Mets took a "holistic approach" to make sure Diaz is at the top of his game moving forward.
"We had a pretty detailed plan for him, and it was a 360-degree effort from our performance staff, our nutrition department, Jeremy Hefner and our mechanics experts came in. We used technology, we used psychology," said Van Wagenen. "We basically took a holistic approach to make sure Edwin was in a good place to build on some of success he had last year with the strikeouts, and convert that into some consistency."