NY Mets bench might look stacked with starting talent in 2021
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have several ways to handle this offseason. One strategy could include holding onto as much talent as possible and stacking their bench.
We all have an idea of what we would like the New York Mets to look like in 2021. If they upgrade in center field, it appears the club would then need to make at least one corresponding move involving Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, and/or Jeff McNeil.
While the former two are certainly trade candidates, let’s consider one alternative: stacking the bench with talent.
In this scenario, let’s assume the Mets sign George Springer. He’s not going to sit much. The star right-handed-hitting outfielder should log around 162 games for the 2021 Mets. This leaves the club with a few options in left field and at third base.
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After what we saw in 2020, Davis is more likely to play third base than McNeil. The ability of each to man multiple positions can help the club out in their ultimate decision as to how they bend the lineup on a day-to-day basis.
It’s also helpful for the team that they hit from opposite sides of the plate. This gives the team a chance to put together the best lineup possible depending upon the starting pitcher.
The Mets should definitely look at trade scenarios to move a player for some starting pitching help. If unable to upgrade the rotation, would it be so bad to have Nimmo, Davis, or any other starter sit on any given night?
New York could potentially “play the percentages” and stack some lefties against a right-handed pitcher regularly in 2021. Nimmo could start in left field and McNeil could play third base. When a southpaw starts, Davis could replace either of them. Nimmo would probably be more likely to sit given his history versus lefty throwers.
More important than platooning players, the Mets have an insurance policy against a major injury. Expecting everyone to make it through the entire year is asking a little much. By having a guy on the bench capable of playing well and often, the club has an automatic insurance policy in case of some bad injury news.
I know this team can’t have it all. Even if the arrival of Steve Cohen feels like they can, it’s just impossible.
Other teams may, however, be less likely to trade with them unless they think they’re going to come away as the winner in a deal. Any squad with just an ounce of hope that they can compete would be shooting themselves in the foot by helping out the newly minted powerful Mets. In which case, making no trade at all and instead “demoting” a player to a lesser role than he may deserve can benefit them.
What the bench looks like is near the least of the concerns we have for this ball club at the moment. The team needs a starting catcher. They need to figure out what they will look like in center field. Who plays shortstop? Most burning of all, what will their starting rotation be?
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A solid bench is vital for a team’s success. The Mets have assets to head into 2021 with a pretty good one if they’re able to build around what they already have.