3 Players The 2023 Season Hinges On: New York Mets

With the cash that owner Steve Cohen has spent, he New York Mets are in championship-or-bust mode this season, even with closer Edwin Diaz out for the year. 

And that brings us to having a look at a few players the 2023 season hinges on. Starting on the bullpen.

David Robertson / Adam Ottavino

With Diaz out, this duo will now be counted on to get the big outs in the late innings. 

Robertson, 38, has 157 saves in his 14-year career, including plenty of them on the big stage of New York, with the Yankees. He can handle the heat. Last season, he chalked up 20 saves for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies with a combined 2.40 ERA and 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings. 

Ottavino, 37, has a high-leverage pedigree as well, though not as many saves. He posted a 1.90 ERA in 2019 with the Yankees, and last season with the Mets had an elite 2.06 ERA with a 79:16 strikeout-to-walk ratio, at 10.8 K/9. 

Brandon Nimmo

And while the back end of games is relying on Robertson and Ottavino, the top end of the lineup is in the hands of Nimmo. The Mets spent some big dollars to keep him in free agency this past winter, 8 years, $162M, and he'll need to be that spark out of the leadoff spot to set everything in motion. 

Last season, he delivered his usual elite OPS and OPS+ numbers, while scoring over 100 runs. It was his first fully-healthy season in four years, however, and they'll need him to be available all year once again. 

Photo: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports