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NY Mets should avoid an exclusive DH bat if the DH returns in 2022

Jul 29, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) is congratulated by third baseman J.D. Davis (28) after hitting a two-run home run against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2021; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) is congratulated by third baseman J.D. Davis (28) after hitting a two-run home run against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
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Having a universal DH has been a hot topic for the past few years for the New York Mets. With MLB experimenting with it in the shortened 2020 season, it made it much more interesting. Now in the last year of the current CBA, there is a possibility a universal DH could be negotiated into the new deal and we see a universal DH in 2022 and beyond.

While I personally am a fan of traditional baseball ways, such as the National League not having a DH, I think it may be time, especially with how much it would benefit the Mets. Not to mention, Jacob deGrom hurt himself on more than one occasion this season swinging the bat, and while I love watching him swing the bat, I love watching him on the mound every five days even more.

Looking at American League teams and seeing some teams use a rotation of guys in the DH spot and others have one set guy, I think the Mets would be better off with a rotation of guys as opposed to one set person serving as a DH.

Even though there are guys out there that have been some of the best DH’s in recent memory that were exclusive to just hitting, with one set to hit the free-agent market this winter in Nelson Cruz, the Mets should still have a rotation of players for the position.

The Mets should avoid one set DH if the DH returns to the National League in the future.

The roster the Mets have serves as a perfect one to rotate guys in and out of the DH spot.

Assuming Steve Cohen does not bite the bullet and pay the remainder of his contract, our old friend Robinson Cano is set to return in 2022 for two more seasons. Cano will be in his age 39 season and coming off a year where he did not play a game, so assuming he will be the everyday second basemen he will need some days to rest his legs a bit, and DHing him would be a great option.

In addition to Cano possibly returning to the club next season, the Mets have a lot of other young hitters that deserve at-bats. The Mets have a plethora of hitters already on the team or on the verge of being called up to the big leagues.

Even with Michael Conforto and Javier Baez being in the last season of their contracts, the Mets still have plenty of guys to rotate around the field with the DH spot if they choose to not bring them back. The Mets have a handful of prospects with ETA’s next year that include Khalil Lee who we’ve already seen in the majors, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos. Now while these are all ETA’s and not set in stone, it is something to think about as they would be on rookie contracts and are some of the top prospects not only in the Mets system but baseball in general.

In the event that Baez and/or Conforto do both return, it would seemingly move guys all around the diamond. J.D. Davis would likely see significant time as a DH with an infield consisting of Francisco Lindor at short, a combination of Jeff McNeil and Baez at second and third, and a combination of Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso at first base. Smith could also join Brandon Nimmo and Conforto in the outfield with both Smith and Nimmo making great progress defensively.

If the Mets decided to not cut ties with Cano, that could also move McNeil back to the outfield with Smith likely sharing time in the outfield, at DH, and first base. There are expected to be a lot of moving parts and a lot of “what ifs”, so the Mets should try to stay away from a set-in-stone DH.

There are many different ways that the Mets can go with a universal DH in the future, and I think it is clear they will benefit from it greatly with the mass amount of young talent they have, despite struggling at the plate mightily this season.

For all we know, the DH could not even be brought to the National League, but in the event it is, the Mets have a lot of options to put there and would be better off with a rotation instead of one set hitter.

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