The New York Mets only have one option at third base next year, Todd Frazier. It’s important they find someone else to challenge the veteran slugger.
How do you get the most out of an employee? You can scream and holler at them all you want. The best thing to do is challenge them. In the case of the New York Mets next year, they have no one to give third baseman Todd Frazier a good fight.
Think about it. Every day when you go into work, I hope you humbly realize someone else could take your job. It could be over in a flash. Constant bad results could result in your termination.
Baseball works a little differently than it does at the hot dog taste-testing factory; assuming you work in one or any similar field. Those contracts are guaranteed. Even if guys like Frazier stink up the joint, they have jobs. Their kids will eat and they get to keep their work uniform.
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Third base is one position the Mets have only one true option at next season. We’ll probably see Jeff McNeil take up a few innings there and Luis Guillorme could join the 25-man roster if Frazier is on the disabled list at any point. For the most part, the hot corner belongs to Frazier without anyone else taking up significant playing time regardless of his performance.
This is a problem. Frazier is at the age where he needs to dig a little deeper into his soul to find his best. I don’t think he’s slacking off. I just believe a little urgency could help a veteran like him.
The same is true for other underperformers like Jay Bruce and Jason Vargas. Bruce has plenty of competition in the outfielder and at first base. If the Mets are wise, they will bench him if needed. Vargas could also face wrath from management with a move to the bullpen if 2019 looks like yet another disaster from this veteran starter.
Every starter who isn’t a superstar should have at least one guy breathing down their neck. Frazier, who hasn’t hit above .250 since 2015 with a regular OBP near .300, could really use an understudy to make him nervous. After all, next year is big for the Toddfather. It’s his last chance to showcase his talents before entering free agency for the second time.
The Mets do have a guy named Mark Vientos in the minor leagues. This future third base option is far away from any big league action and no threat to Frazier’s job security.
If there’s one smaller piece I really believe the Mets need to add in the offseason, it’s a utility man with everyday abilities. They need a guy to seriously contend to play 162 games at any of the infield positions. Wilmer Flores looked like this option. However, his bad knees may even cost him his job.
A bigger issue might be the lack of attention to those who challenge the established major leaguers. For example, Peter Alonso has done everything in his power to call out all of the 2018 first basemen. He should get his crack at the gig. Instead, he “rested up” in September.
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Somehow, someway, the Mets need to add some depth on the infield; specifically to give them an alternative plan at third base.