After a poor 2020 season at the plate, the Mets will have to figure out to reestablish a new offensive core around Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor.
Now that the Mets have officially hired Billy Eppler to their general manager position, the former Angels figurehead has to figure out what to do with the remnants of an offensive core that struggled early and often in 2021.
The good is still really good, however. Pete Alonso further established himself as a legitimate middle-of-the-order power threat and someone the Mets should extend this offseason. Brandon Nimmo continues to provide value at the top of the order and Francisco Lindor showed why he’s one of the best shortstops in baseball.
After that, however, the talent fell off a cliff. James McCann and Micheal Conforto struggled, with the latter seemingly on the verge of leaving as a free agent. Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith have taken steps back, J.D Davis’can hit but doesn’t have a true defensive position. All three seem like trade candidates this offseason to address other needs.
The point is, the Mets once had a group of young, developing bats that seemed to sustain, even as the pitching scuffled. Everything worked because the Mets had young hitters who were cost-controlled and developing, so the Mets could take a bit more of their money to spend on the pitching side.
Now, the majority of those bats are getting paid and didn’t develop as planned (Smith) or in other cases, traded away (Amed Rosario). New York enters an offseason where both the hitting and the pitching have to be addressed, and ultimately, a new offensive core has to be created.
New York will lean on their farm system for some affordable talent, but the infusion of free agents to make it work. Correa would be an expensive addition, but an effective one that changes the outlook of the club now and moving forward. Again, imagine a one-through-four at the top of the lineup of Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Pete Alonso.
But adding a bat of Correa’s caliber also assists with the process of blending in young prospects, something New York wants to do over the new few seasons. That stability in the lineup eases the burden of Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, Francisco Alvarez, and Ronny Mauricio as they make their way through the minor league.