Fourteen teams, from the 1923 Yankees to the 2015 Royals, have won the World Series the year after losing the World Series.
The Mets are hoping to be the 15th.
Will the additions of Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Antonio Bastardo (combined 2015 Wins Above Replacement: 5.0) be enough to help get the Mets back to the World Series and win it this time?
Other than that trio and the absence of Daniel Murphy, the Mets return pretty much the same team as last season.
If history is any guide, however, most of the teams that won the World Series the year after losing it only made a few key additions.
Some made none at all. Here’s a look at the 14 previous teams in the World Series era and their key additions, which are defined as new players who added a Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 1.0 or better during the regular season:
World Series: Beat New York Giants in 6
Key addition: P Herb Pennock Total WAR: 5.8
After losing the 1922 World Series to the Giants in four games (plus one tie), the Yankees acquired future Hall of Famer Pennock from the Red Sox for Norm McMillan, George Murray, Camp Skinner and $50,000. Pennock, who had gone 10-17 with Boston in 1922, went 19-6 for the Yankees and won two games and saved another in the World Series rematch.
World Series: Beat Pirates in 4
Key additions: Ps Wilcy Moore, George Pipgras Total WAR: 6.9
After losing the 1926 World Series to the Cardinals in seven games, the Yankees got a breakout rookie season from Moore, who went 19-7 in 50 games (12 starts). The righthander, who never won more than 11 games after 1927, picked up a win and save in the World Series. Pipgras, also a rookie, won 10 games during the season and one in the World Series.
World Series: Beat Philadelphia A’s in 7
Key additions: P Paul Derringer, OF Pepper Martin Total WAR: 5.4
After losing the 1930 World Series to the A’s in six games, the Cardinals got 18 wins from rookie Paul Derringer (although he lost twice in the World Series). Martin, who had 14 big-league at-bats before 1931, became a regular and hit .500 with a 1.330 OPS in the World Series.
World Series: Beat Cubs in 6
No key additions
After losing the 1934 World Series to the Cardinals in seven games, the Tigers returned virtually the same team, including future Hall of Famers Mickey Cochrane, Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg. Cochrane was also the manager.
World Series: Beat Tigers in 7
Key additions: P Joe Beggs, P Jim Turner Total WAR: 4.6
The Reds, who were swept by the Yankees in the 1939 World Series, added Beggs from the Yankees before the 1940 season. Beggs, whose nickname was “Fireman,” won 12 games and saved seven during the season. Turner, a future Yankee, won 14 games after coming over in a trade from the Boston Bees.
World Series: Beat Cardinals in 5
Key additions: P Butch Wensloff, 1B Nick Etten, 3B Billy Johnson, SS Snuffy StirnweissTotal WAR: 9.1
After losing the 1942 World Series in five games to the Cardinals, the Yankees got their revenge the following year. With Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto and Red Ruffing among those away during the season and/or World Series because of military service, the Yankees got a 3.8 WAR season from third baseman Johnson, a rookie who finished 4th in the AL MVP voting. First baseman Etten finished seventh. Wensloff and Stirnweiss were also rookies.
World Series: Beat St. Louis Browns in 6
Key additions: Ps Ted Wilks, 2B Emil Verban 6.0
The Cardinals won their second World Series in three years with contributions from rookies Wilks (17 wins) and Verban, who hit .412 with an .885 OPS in the all-St. Louis World Series.
World Series: Beat Brooklyn Dodgers in 7
Key additions: None
After losing to the Dodgers in seven games in the 1955 World Series, the Yankees returned virtually the same team to win a thrilling seven-game series in 1956. The highlight was Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5.
World Series: Beat Milwaukee Braves in 7
Key additions: Ps Ryne Duren, OF Norm Siebern Total WAR: 5.8
After losing to the Braves in a seven-game World Series in 1957, the Yankees returned the favor in 1958. Duren, who came over from the Kansas City A’s, was a rarity at the time – a relief ace. He won six games, saved 19 others and finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting and 22nd in the MVP race. Siebern had a 3.5 WAR and won a Gold Glove.
World Series: Beat Cincinnati Reds in 5
Key additions: P Rollie SheldonTotal WAR: 1.0
After losing the 1960 World Series to the Pirates on Bill Mazeroski’s Game 7 home run, the Yankees fired manager Casey Stengel and replaced him with Ralph Houk. This is the only team on this list that changed managers before their World Series victory. Sheldon won 11 games as a rookie.
World Series: Beat Reds in 5
Key additions: None
After losing the 1969 World Series to the Miracle Mets, the Orioles returned in 1970 with virtually the same roster and topped the Reds. This was the first team on this list to have to win a playoff series (the ALCS) to get back to and win the World Series.
World Series: Beat L.A. Dodgers in 6
Key additions: Ps Ron Guidry, Don Gullett, Mike Torrez, SS Bucky Dent, OF Reggie JacksonTotal WAR: 16.4
After getting swept by the Big Red Machine in the 1976 World Series, the Yankees under George Steinbrenner signed Jackson and Gullet and traded for Torrez and Dent. Guidry, who appeared in 17 games in 1975-‘76 without a win, won 16 games in the 1977 regular season and two more in the postseason. Torrez won two games in the World Series, including the clinching Game 6. MVP Jackson hit three home runs in Game 6 and five overall.
World Series: Beat Giants in 4
Key additions: P Mike Moore, OF Rickey Henderson Total WAR: 10.6
After losing the 1988 Series in five games to the underdog Dodgers, the A’s added the future Hall of Famer Henderson on June 21, 1989, from the Yankees for Greg Cadaret, Eric Plunk and Luis Polonia. Henderson went on to amass a 5.1 WAR in 85 games with Oakland and was named the ALCS MVP after hitting .400 with a 1.609 OPS. In the World Series, he hit .474 with a 1.419 OPS. Moore, who won 19 games and was third in the AL Cy Young award voting, went 3-0 in the postseason.
World Series: Beat Mets in 5
Key additions: Ps Edinson Volquez, Chris Young, Ryan Madson, 2B Ben Zobrist, DH Kendrys Morales Total WAR: 10.3
The Royals, after losing the 2014 World Series to the Giants in seven games, became the first team on this list to have to win two playoff rounds (ALDS and ALCS) to return to and win the World Series. Johnny Cueto, who contributed 0.2 WAR after being acquired during the season, won two games in the postseason, including the clinching Game 5 of the ALDS.