The Mets navigated their way through a 60-game season in the midst of a pandemic, losing one big starting pitcher to injury, another to an opt-out, and dealing with a midseason coronavirus shutdown. And they missed the playoffs for the fourth-straight season and 12th time in the last 14 seasons.
Despite the issues that were beyond their control, the Mets -- a win-now team that won 86 games in 2019 -- have only themselves to blame for missing a postseason that will feature 16 teams.
Let's unpack it all and hand out grades...
Though the Mets struggled badly with runners in scoring position during the first half of the season, their offense was quite potent throughout, with very productive seasons from Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo -- with most of those players plastered all over the National League leader boards.
Rookie Andres Gimenez, 21, was also a bright spot, using a contact-first approach but also starting to tap into his power a bit.
The struggles of Alonso, Ramos, and Rosario shouldn't have been enough to keep this team down. And it wouldn't have been, if not for the mess on the mound (more on that below).
For far too long, the Mets have undervalued defense, relying on far too many players who are either being asked to play out of position and/or simply aren't very good defensively.
In 2020, that included using Nimmo in center field (where he was one of the worst defenders in baseball) and Ramos behind the plate. New York also used Smith in left field a bit, which usually doesn't lead to good things, and saw a regression at first base from Alonso and at second base from Cano.
Davis, who put in a ton of work at third base during the offseason, was worth -8 DRS there in just 34 games, which is frankly unplayable.
Gimenez (at shortstop, third base, and second base) was exceptional, and Rosario was very good at short. Oh, and Conforto was slightly above average in right field.
Going into 2021, the Mets need to place an emphasis on finding plus defensive options for catcher and center field.
Starting pitching: D
Aside from the above, every starting pitcher who touched the ball in 2020 was a disaster as a Mets rotation that was without Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman -- and robbed of its depth due to trades -- cost the Mets a shot at playing in October.
Steven Matz had a 9.76 ERA (going from the rotation to the pen and back to the rotation), Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello put the Mets behind the eight ball in nearly every start they made, and depth pieces Walker Lockett, Corey Oswalt, and and Ariel Jurado combined for a 7.25 ERA.
The Mets missing the playoffs wasn't a mystery.
The pen was good and bad.
A resurgent Edwin Diaz was largely dominant, Justin Wilson and Chasen Shreve were very good, and Miguel Castro showed some flashes after being acquired via trade. Lugo was also effective before being shifted.
On the other side of things was Dellin Betances (equal parts ineffective and injured), Jeurys Familia (who had a decent ERA but walked roughly 7 batters per 9), and Jared Hughes (who turned into a pumpkin after some early success).
The Mets are going to need lots of reinforcements heading into next season.
Luis Rojas: B
In an age where field managers take their cues from the front office, it's hard to grade them. But if we're looking at the overall picture, Rojas was quite impressive in his first season at the helm.
There were times when Rojas seemingly didn't have his finger on the pulse of when to pull his pitcher, and some other questionable in-game moves. But the X's and O's were largely solid. They're also a tiny part of the job.
When it came to communicating with his players, Rojas (according to his players) excelled. He was also direct and forthcoming with the media, and was never once swallowed up by adversity despite the crazy circumstances that led to him getting the job and learning on the fly during a pandemic.
Brodie Van Wagenen: D
The Mets failing to reach the postseason falls mostly on Van Wagenen. Though he can't be blamed for letting Zack Wheeler go (since he doesn't set the payroll), he can be blamed for not finding an adequate replacement and for leaving the Mets vulnerable to a starting rotation disaster.
On the bright side for Van Wagenen, the draft strategy he oversaw continued to be excellent, with the Mets landing two first-round talents (Pete Crow-Armstrong and J.T. Ginn) and another very highly thought of prospect (Isaiah Greene) in the shortened 2020 MLB Draft.