Who Can Come And Save This Lineup?
Its no secret, the Mets are really banged up. At the writing of this article, they currently have 17 players on the IL. Ill say that louder for those who didn’t hear me, 17 PLAYERS ON THE IL!!!!! Our biggest praise of the offseason were the depth moves they made, specifically Pillar and Villar, but you can just never prepare for this amount of injury luck. So what can they do? Well they have two options the way I see it. They could either stand pat and try to tread water till they get some guys back, or they could make a move. I lean towards making a move, you can only go so long with Cameron Maybin and Khalil Lee playing everyday before you fall too far behind. Now these guys will start to come back, so you don’t need to make a huge splash, but there are some lower end options out there the Mets can purse to help them through this stretch.
Gordon, a former two time All Star, was last playing for the Brewers Triple A affiliate Nashville Sound where he hit .333 with a .878 OPS before being released. While he doesn’t have the elite speed he once had, Gordon would add some speed to this Mets team that need to be taking any extra base they can muster. He also has position flexibility with the ability to play CF and 2B. I think this one is a no brainer decision as it wouldn’t cost the Mets anything to bring him in.
Note: Dee Gordon has signed a minor league deal with the Cubs
Seager currently has two more years left on his 7 year $100 million contract but has a performance based buyout ranging from $0-$3 million for next year. Seager is a name that has been linked to the Mets for a couple of days now. While not as good as he once was, hitting only .221 with a .741 OPS, he would add a legitimate bat into a lineup that is really lacking some right now and could be a relatively cheep get considering the status the Mariners are in right now. He still has some pop too with 9 homeruns and 30 RBIs this year. Only downside to Seager is that he’s a primary 3rd baseman and with JD Davis close to coming back, the Mets would be looking for OF and 2B help the most.
Much like Seager and the Mariners, the Pirates are in a position to sell. Polanco is another guy whose best days are behind him, .647 OPS, but he would fill a need in the OF and wouldn’t take much to get. He has some experience in CF but is mostly a corner outfielder. Polanco has a $3 million buyout after this season and a $1 million the season after.
Grossman is in the first year of his 2 year $10 million contract with the Tigers. He is currently slashing .256/.382/.423 with 5 homeruns and 21 RBIs. If you want to look more analytically, our good friend Jolly Olive broke down why Grossman would be an excellent fit.
He has some CF experience but is primarily a corner outfielder. While he doesn’t have the same past successes as the previous guys, he is the best guy currently playing out of this bunch. Along with being a fix for the team right now, he could also be integral bench piece for a playoff run when the team gets healthy. With the Tigers owning the 4th worst record in the league, they could be looking to sell soon and Grossman might be one the first to get shipped out.
This is the name that intrigues me the most. When I first was looking at potential candidates, I dismissed Frazier at first because, for some reason, I thought he was one of the young building blocks for the Pirates but in reality, he’s 29 and on a one year contract which would be ideal for this Mets team. Fraziers stats are like Gordons however Fraizer is doing at the major league level. He’s slashing .335/.401/.459 with 14 doubles and leads the MLB in hits with 62. He plays 2B and OF which would fill your two biggest needs at the moment and much like Grossman, would be a great bat to have beyond this point for a playoff run.
This is a weirder one but if you’re not looking to give up any capital to get a guy, Kemp could be a candidate. He was announced to the Team USA Olympic roster so you can assume he is still in baseball shape. He wasn’t that bad last year for Colorado hitting 6 homeruns, driving in 21 runs with an OPS of .745. He would fill a need in the corner outfield and add some pop to the middle of the lineup.
The story of Trey Mancini this year has been nothing short of incredible. On March 12th 2020, he was diagnosed with colon cancer and missed the entire 2020 season. Eight months later in November, he was announced as cancer-free. And what has he done since coming back? Well he’s currently 2nd in the MLB in RBIs with 42 to go along with 10 homeruns to the tune of a .849 OPS. He has a similar contract to Frazier and can play the corner outfield and 1st base. With the Orioles holding the worst record in the Majors, Mancini could be a guy the look to sell high on. Also could you imagine Trey Mancini hitting a World Series homerun a year after he was announced as cancer-free?
I think any one of these guys could help the Mets in the short term, and with some of these guys, be key players in future playoff run. If I had to rank the guys on here I want the most, it would probably go Frazier, Mancini, Grossman. Those three guys are the only ones currently playing well in the majors and, in the case of Frazier and Mancini, have good position flexibility especially Frazier. All I know is that with the setbacks to Davis and Nimmo and with McNeil and Conforto being out at least a month, you can just stay put and hope to get by. They acquired Billy McKinney which is an ok start but theres more to be done.