Both David Pinto (who has redesigned his "Baseball Musings," to celebrate its one-year anniversary), and Aaron Gleeman preview the NL East. Neither is terrbily impressed with the Mets.
According to Pinto:
The Mets are a hard call again. The good players on the team are old. The lineup 2-5 is as good as any in the division, if everything works out. I think Cedeno is a gamble at leadoff; he's had great years getting on base, and poor ones also. I really think the Mets would get more out of Alomar-Floyd 1-2. Mo Vaughn is a key, and he's having a good spring. Sanchez is an awful offensive player, and yet he's an improvement over Ordonez. The play of two rookies, Wigginton and Reyes may make or break the Mets season offensively. The rotation, despite the addition of Glavine, is not deep. Again, the two best pitchers, Leiter and Glavine, are old. The Mets strike me as half a team. I think they'll fight the Marlins for third place.
Gleeman cuts to the chase:
If it wasn't for their remarkably solid farm system, the New York Mets would be the Baltimore Orioles, constantly trying to sign enough aging players to finish with 82 wins until the end of time.
...Their offense is old and declining. Their pitching is just plain old. Their defense, particularly if Roger Cedeno plays in CF, is beyond bad. The sooner they realize this current team isn't going anywhere but mediocre, the better. They need to clear the decks of the over 30 crowd, so they can begin setting up for the Jose Reyes/Scott Kazmir/Justin Huber era.
Once again, the Mets will hover right around .500 this year and will finish with just enough wins to make their front office go out and acquire a few more 35 year old pitchers to make "one more" run at it ("it" being 85 wins) in 2004.