The problem with the DH situation for the New York Mets right now isn’t so much that fans are rooting against Mark Vientos to find himself and DJ Stewart to become the offensive version of Rick Reed. If a plan involving those two to get the majority of the designated hitter at-bats falls apart, there’s very little the Mets can do to satisfy the position. Even if the pair play well, the risk of injury is always present. This scenario exists regardless of who ends up being the DH, even if the team somehow lands everybody’s favorite target this month, Jorge Soler.
Expecting Drew Gilbert to be available quickly for MLB at-bats is optimistic. The Mets can turn toward some minor league deals with guys who’ve hit well in the majors in the past.
These three free agents, if willing to accept a minor league deal, are worth adding to the Syracuse roster in hopes of maybe doing something similar to what Gary Sanchez did last season.
1) Jesse Winker
Our old pal, enemy, and then trade candidate Mets fans were hoping to land at one point before he crashed and burned. Jesse Winker is a free agent and based on last year’s numbers, not someone who should be expecting a call about a major league contract.
In fact, the last two years have been rough for Winker. Ever since leaving the bandbox in Cincinnati, Winker has been atrocious at the plate. His lifetime .288/.385/.504 slash line with the Reds has dipped down to .264/.369/.444 with the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers. Last year’s performance in Milwaukee included a .199/.320/.247 slash line and only a single home run in 197 plate appearances.
Why target him? He’s about to play in his age 30 season. He was an All-Star in 2021 and as we know well, a pretty good player in the previous years.
A native of Buffalo, New York, he won’t be too far from home either. He may never see Citi Field in 2024, but some weeks in Syracuse to work on things and give the Mets a Plan-D if they need it. Vientos and Stewart are both optional to the minors so there’s absolutely no risk to trying something out if the original plan fails.