Mets GM calls team NL East favorites after flurry of winter moves

Mar 24, 2018; Jupiter, FL, USA; A New York Mets hat with sunglasses sits on a glove in the dugout during a spring training game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

First-year New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen isn’t lacking in the confidence area after making a plethora of moves to upgrade his previously pedestrian roster this winter.

After adding the likes of Robinson Cano, Wilson Ramos, Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia to the mix over the past month-plus, the Mets’ roster is much better than what we saw during a 77-win 2018 campaign.

Taking this into account, Van Wagenen now considers the Mets favorites in what promises to be an ultra-competitive NL East this coming season.

That’s certainly one way to look at it.

With Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard now likely returning to headline the starting rotation, we do like the Mets’ pitching staff. Add in one of the best closers in the game in Diaz after he was acquired from Seattle, and that’s magnified even further.

At issue here is the fact that other teams have also improved within the division. Coming off a surprising NL East title, the young Atlanta Braves added former AL MVP Josh Donaldson and veteran backstop Brian McCann to the mix this winter. They’re also in the market for a top-end starting pitcher.

After finishing ahead of New York in the standings last season, the Phillies have brought in star shortstop Jean Segura. Meanwhile, the talented Washington Nationals picked up dominant starter Patrick Corbin to form an elite trio with Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer.