The New York Mets, despite having several internal options at third base, seem to have an interest in upgrading the hot corner. This has been the case even during the offseason as rumors flew around about possible options to go from J.D. Davis to a number of different players.
The Mets never did make any big free agent splash or trade. This month, we could see it happen.
Specifically, there’s one guy I think everyone has in mind—at least those looking to add someone at the position. He has long been a great fit for the Mets and could actually help out a few other teams. More importantly, this player could decide the National League East. His name is Kris Bryant.
Kris Bryant is a fit for the Mets and every contender in the NL East
Kris Bryant could drastically change any starting lineup. He can do it by playing more than just third base, too. Flexible enough to start all three outfield positions (best used in the corners) and likely capable of also filling in as an emergency starter elsewhere, Bryant could be a long-term solution at a variety of different places.
For the Mets, Bryant makes sense at third base and in the corner outfield positions versus lefties. Dominic Smith’s year hasn’t gone too well, but he has picked things up as of late. Still, to have a superstar right-handed option to give him a day off every so often might give the club the best chance to win.
The same thing could be said about Michael Conforto in right field but with the added note of how poorly he has done. I don’t think the Mets are in the market to completely replace him. However, having Bryant’s capable bat out there could help make one of Conforto’s lengthy slumps a little more palatable.
You can see how much Bryant makes sense for the Mets. Unfortunately, the same is true of the other three teams with a shot at the division title.
There’s a great chance Bryant ends up with the Philadelphia Phillies at some point because of his friendship with Bryce Harper. Right now, the team could benefit from an upgrade at third base over Alec Bohm. Bryant’s ability to also play some center field could finally give them some juice out there as well. If they’re serious about catching the Mets, Bryant can help them do it.
The Atlanta Braves have much different needs. Austin Riley has been great at third base. In fact, Bryant would rarely touch the infield with a mitt on his hand. It’s the corner outfield spots where he’d be needed most. The season-ending injury to Ronald Acuna Jr. has opened a spot for them. Already working shorthanded in left field this season, Bryant could be an everyday option at either spot. The team has already acquired Joc Pederson from the Chicago Cubs, but why stop there?
As for the Washington Nationals, the last-place team with an actual shot to compete (sorry Miami Marlins fan, wherever you are), Bryant is a lesser fit but not someone to completely ignore on the trade market. Bryant’s primary positions of third base and the corner outfield spots are pretty secure with multiple options in D.C. Center field could be a possibility, but Victor Robles’ defense can sometimes make up for his lack of a bat. Not a truly great fit for Washington, the Mets’ greater concern should be seeing Bryant end up in Philly or the ATL.
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Bryant is a great match for nearly every team hoping to add at the trade deadline. Even with his free agency looming, expect the price to be high. That’s what it costs for an All-Star former MVP who can do more than a few things.