The New York Mets summer internship program is highly recommended. Who wouldn’t want to spend a summer in New York and collect eight figures along the way? This season, the Mets earned their rep as the most chaotic franchise in Major League Baseball by jettisoning Justin Verlander, David Robertson, and Max Scherzer in three separate trades for the hefty sum of $337 million. If you count the phantom of Carlos Correa’s lost contract, the Mets committed to shelling out half a billion dollars between four players who didn’t make it past their first trade deadline. That bloated payroll earned them a 17.5-game deficit to the Atlanta Braves, even six games back of the second-place Miami Marlins. Things rolled downhill quickly.
On Tuesday, the Mets discovered Verlander’s receipt and returned him to the defending champion Houston Astros. Verlander, 40, looked his age until he started eyeing the exits. Then, over his last seven starts, Verlander logged a 1.49 ERA. Correa was even a Met long enough for an avocado to ripen.
Together they were the Mets’ 2023 summer intern class. As with any group of interns, a few return, but along the way most realize it’s not for them. Correa dropped out before orientation after failing a physical due to concerns surrounding the metal plate inserted into his ankle when he was a minor leaguer nearly a decade ago.
At least Verlander, Robertson, and Scherzer stuck around long enough to take shelter in the Mets rotation amid a tempestuous climate. The trade deadline was the official deadline for Mets interns on the diamond to apply for an early release. The 38-year-old Robertson and 40-year-old Verlander and Scherzer are no spring chickens. Given their advancing ages and multi-year contracts, the trio were obvious sell-now candidates.
Like your typical intern, most returned home. Unlike your average summer temp, they’ll decamp with golden parachutes and a job on contending clubs. Meanwhile, clubs on a budget like the Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays are soaring with homegrown talent who haven’t reached arbitration yet and stars they developed through the minors. 2023 was an all-out embarrassment for Cohen and his financial judgment. They were a hollowed-out, structurally unsound skyscraper that tried to build a competitive team on a half-billion-dollar foundation. The Mets organization won’t end this disaster empty-handed though. In exchange for their aging aces, Billy Eppler secured the building blocks for a more stable high-rise.
The most recent Mets club to reach a World Series was assembled around a young roster developed within their farm system. At that date, the Mets were the only club Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Travis d’Arnaud, Lucas Duda, and Jacob deGrom had ever suited up for. This season was a disaster class in team-building. However, the crater left behind by the Mets pressing to win now leaves them battered, and bruised, but the wounds to the Mets’ pride will heal.
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