The Mets and Terry Collins have reached a deal on a new two-year contract as Mets’ beat writer, Adam Rubin first reported. Collins, 66, is at an age where he did not want to sign a long-term deal. He was vocal about this before the end of the Mets’ postseason run. Collins brought the Mets to their first World Series in 15 years and their first playoff appearance in nearly a decade in 2015. His success as manager is understandably being rewarded– Collins was voted as NL Manager of the Year by his peers in a poll by Sporting News. He will be a candidate for the Baseball Writers Association of America award for NL Manager of the Year alongside NLCS counterpart and Cubs’ manager, Joe Maddon and Cardinals’ skipper, Mike Matheny.
After a surprisingly successful season for the Mets, what does the future hold for the franchise? What does the re-signing of Collins mean? Was it Collins that caused this team’s success or was he just there for the ride? All these questions and more will be answered.
The Mets were a team that struggled to reach .500 every season since their last playoff run in 2006. Just a year ago, the Mets only won 79 games finishing 3 games below .500. So what changed? What catapulted this team from a second place losing team to a National League Champion? The Mets had great pitching, arguably the best pitching in baseball this year. However, the first half of the season looked like the same results would ensue as previous seasons. They were struggling to play .500 baseball until the trade deadline when the offensive reinforcements came. Yoenis Cespedes, Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, not to mention a valued setup man in Tyler Clippard were all acquired to help them down the stretch. Addison Reed was signed for the 7th inning relief role and voila!, the Mets are on their way to a NL pennant.
But those same solutions that were there to save the Mets in 2015 won’t be there in 2016. The Mets are increasingly likely to allow Cespedes to walk as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com first reported. In fact, all of their trade deadline acquisitions will be free agents this offseason. Daniel Murphy, who had a big part in the Mets postseason run will also be entering free agency. The chances of the Mets signing any of these players seem small to many around the situation. This is a major problem that needs addressing, particularly because of how many losses could occur on the offensive side of things. The Mets need to go out and find a replacement for Cespedes. Without Cespedes and Murphy they are losing their best power bat and their best contact hitter in one shot.
If such replacements are not found, the Mets could end up in the same boat they were in halfway through the 2015 season. They could be a team that struggles to play .500 baseball. They’ll have great pitching again, but the offense needs to be sufficiently potent to give them a chance to win games when their pitching has an off day.
Terry Collins is a beloved manager with the Mets players. They love him. He’s learned to be a player’s manager while serving with New York. He’s learned to be more understanding of his players. This is something he struggled with while serving as manager of the Angels and Astros. While his players will always play hard under him and he will always be loved by his players, the team will need offense because Collins is not and never was the reason for majority of the team’s success.