NY Mets Roster: Offensive woes should lead to major changes this winter

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 25: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field on July 25, 2021 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 25: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field on July 25, 2021 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

How far the New York Mets go this year will ultimately factor into what the front office does over the winter. A championship from this club makes any decision they make a whole lot easier. While I don’t think anyone wants to see them go post-World Series Florida Marlins on us and sell everything they have, a championship makes everything easier to digest.

Something going on with the Mets all year that could lead to a big shakeup over the winter is the offense. The team is hitting at a last-place rate. Only for superb pitching from both the starters and relievers, with the occasional clutch hit sprinkled in, has the team managed to remain competitive. If not for the men on the mound, this season would look atrocious.

Now into August, it’s tough to make excuses. I don’t care if they still have injuries. They have enough starting bats back and runs are supposed to be scored. Instead, the team is just as beleaguered as they were when they were down a couple of men. If this continues, we’re looking at some huge potential changes over the winter.

The Mets top trade candidates on the MLB roster remain imperfect fits

The three guys on the Mets who have been mentioned among trade rumors and speculation for a few years now haven’t changed much. J.D. Davis, Brandon Nimmo, and Dominic Smith are all playing “out of position.” Davis doesn’t really have a position so it’s an impossibility for him to ever meet this expectation.

Strangely enough, Smith has played good defense in left field this season. Nimmo hasn’t been the nightmare many expected in center field when he has managed to stay healthy.

I would expect all three of these guys to continually be mentioned as trade candidates outside of any putting together a huge year by the end of 2021. It has been a mostly lost campaign for Davis and Nimmo thus far. Smith, on the other hand, has managed to stay healthy but not so productive at the plate.

Outside of those three, there are really only two other moves the team could make. Trading Jeff McNeil, as heartbreaking as it would be, changes the dynamic of this ball club. I put the possibility of this at lower than low because, despite poor numbers in 2021, he has a track record of hitting for a high average and brings things to the table so many others don’t.

Finally, for a major change, letting Michael Conforto walk in free agency opens up the door to a much different-looking lineup and clubhouse. It’s the easiest move to make, but is it the right one?

Replacing what Michael Conforto gives you in right field will not be easy

How’s that for an understatement?

Conforto has been a huge part of the Mets organization for years now. Inconsistent at times, he also has some huge hits for the club.

Unfortunately, there are some facts to back up that he’s not in the top class of MLB outfielders. Conforto has never sniffed the MVP with so much as a single last-place vote and has only one All-Star selection to his name. As important as he is, there are better outfielders out there. Snagging one is much tougher than identifying him by name.

Finding the right fit is the challenge. Who’s to say the Mets won’t bring in a guy with better career numbers only to see him struggle throughout his contract? If it were that easy to build a winning franchise, we’d all run a baseball team.

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Sometimes, a franchise has to make a change for the sake of trying something different. Letting Conforto walk and going from there would make for a massive difference in the lineup and clubhouse. A mainstay for the franchise for several seasons now, his loss signals a new era of Mets baseball on the horizon.