In the This Is My Nightmare series, we'll take a look at what the absolute worst case scenario for each team would be in 2013. Think of it as the negative complement to our You May Say I'm A Dreamer series that we'll be running during our preview series.
Mets fans have been living a nightmare over the past few seasons, from the disastrous Jason Bay contract to Johan Santana's shoulder problems to everything in between. So while the fanbase might be used to nightmarish seasons, that doesn't mean they're expecting one in 2013 by any means.
The Mets' future is in their young players, and I don't think anyone would argue that. Zach Wheeler getting beaten like a drum in AAA Las Vegas, where he'll likely end up starting his season, would be a nightmare for Mets fans. By the same token, Matt Harvey taking a step back after a tremendous start to his major league career in 2012 would also bea nightmare, because Harvey has given Mets fans a lot to look forward to in the future after his stellar ten start debut last season.
Turning our eyes to the veterans on the Mets squad, no one expects much from them this year, with the exception of three players: David Wright, Johan Santana, and Shaun Marcum. With Wright inked to a long-term deal this winter, he's not going anywhere, and will be the face of the franchise for years to come. But if Wright has a down year in 2013, I'm sure many Mets fans are going to get upset over the contract that the team gave him this winter and start bemoaning their potential lack of financial flexibility in the future. As for Santana and Marcum, both are likely gone from Flushing after this season. The Mets would love to deal both at the trade deadline, but if each player's balky shoulder pops up again, the Mets might end up paying nearly $30 million to the two players for no production, and no potential return.
In a nutshell, this is a nightmare season for the Mets and their fans: no progress from their young pitchers, a lack of production from the face of the franchise until the end of the decade, and injuries striking two of their potentially most popular trade assets. If you want to build upon things even more, maybe catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud's knee continues to act up this year, and the Mets are forced to move him off the position, drastically lowering his potential future value to the team. Maybe first baseman Ike Davis turns back into a pumpkin after a dynamite first half, and the team gets frustrated and punts on the former first round pick.
But honestly, the biggest nightmare for Mets fans this year is going to be watching their wretched outfield. Mike Baxter, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Lucas Duda could be one of the worst starting trios in recent memory. So in many ways for the 2013 Mets…reality could be their nightmare.