The Opening Day Lineup
On Opening Day, the Mets could begin the year with a lineup looking something like this:
Or some mixture of the above.
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On the bench, there’s nothing different except Frazier is exclusively in a part-time role. Dominic Smith, Keon Broxton, and the rest of the gang the Mets opened the year with are there, too. Luis Guillorme may be left out as they have Machado to play shortstop when needed.
This Mets lineup does look better with Machado, but is it really good enough to win a championship?
I will add, Machado’s presence may have made them a little more timid to start Alonso on the 25-man roster to begin the season. We also don’t know what dear old friend Jay Bruce would give the Mets, if anything at all.
Likely, if the Mets did have eyes for Machado, it would include far more moves than the ones outlined here. Even though he plays the infield, I think they may have traded Conforto or Nimmo to upgrade another spot such as the bullpen.
It’s also not fair to say they would get McCann or that he would perform as well as he has in 2019. He just struck me as a good match this winter prior to the Ramos deal. The benefit of hindsight helps this argument further.
There’s no doubt the Mets offense would be better with Machado around. We would have those days where he doesn’t hustle or dogs it on a groundball. His numbers with the Padres this season have been below expectations so I would imagine plenty of fans would have some negative thoughts about it.
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Machado wouldn’t change the culture of the team. Putting him in a Mets’ uniform does temporarily end the ownership’s reputation as a penny-pinching duo. Last offseason was all about who was and wasn’t willing to spend big. Mets ownership showed us they were in the latter category even though Machado would have done little to single-handedly turn their fortunes around.