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NY Mets: Re-ranking the team’s upcoming free agents

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JULY 21: Marcus Stroman #0 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 21: Jonathan Villar #1 of the New York Mets hits a home run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JULY 21: Jonathan Villar #1 of the New York Mets hits a home run in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

5. Infielder Jonathan Villar

Like Kevin Pillar, Jonathan Villar was brought in for his leadership, experience, and versatility, given he can play across the infield. For a guy who was brought in as a bench player, Villar’s performance has been welcomed as injuries tore through the lineup.

After losing J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme, Villar became a regular for the Amazins’. From the big hits to being able to steal bases, Villar has been able to do it all for the Mets.

This season, over 72 games, Villar has smashed 10 home runs and batted in 20 runs. His slugging percentage of .423 is even his best since 2019 when he played in all 162 games for the Baltimore Orioles.

There is no questioning Villar’s performance, as he has been the leader of the “bench mob” mentality the Mets have had this season. Bringing him back in a similar role on the bench would be smart, but at what cost?

There are two things to consider regarding Villar’s future as a Met. The first is the return of Robinson Cano, which will further crowd the infield. Secondly is the young talent that Villar’s roster spot could be blocking come 2022.

Next year, the Mets could see as many as three of their top prospects hit the majors. Shortstop Ronny Mauricio, third baseman Brett Baty, and third baseman Mark Vientos all have high upside and play positions that Villar does for New York.

Thus, the question becomes does Villar even consider re-signing knowing these players are on the verge of taking his at-bats?

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