Brett Baty hasn’t done enough to secure himself an Opening Day roster spot with the New York Mets in 2024 despite being their top option to play third base. Frankly, he’s practically their only choice.
None of the other guys currently within the organization are as fit to play it. Moving Jeff McNeil to the hot corner and allowing Ronny Mauricio to flourish at second base is one option, but seems more like a Band-Aid on an ax wound than anything else.
So what happens with Baty? The Mets may have to make a tough decision on him this winter or forever hold their peace.
The NY Mets have a tough choice to make with Brett Baty
If Baty isn’t the future third baseman for the Mets, it’s time to move him. Like, yesterday. His trade value still exists. Even if there isn’t another team in the league who views him as a starting major league third baseman, the promise in his bat can lead him to an opportunity as a DH, first baseman, or if they’re adventurous enough, a corner outfielder.
Baty’s bat has progressed slowly in the majors and his defense is atrocious. The team allowed him to flourish this year. They even recalled him again this month to see what some playing time back in Triple-A could do to help spark his bat. Apparently, not much.
It’s left-handed pitchers who have really manhandled Baty the best this year. In his first 77 plate appearances against them, Baty has slashed .155/.200/.254. Unfortunately, a platoon isn’t the solution. He hasn’t been effective versus righties either, batting .228/.305/.332 in his first 271 plate appearances versus them.
Seeing a young player struggle so much after thriving in Triple-A isn’t unusual. The worry of Baty becoming one of those Four-A players is something to panic about way down the line. If he’s not playing regularly by the end of next year for the Mets, they may have missed their opportunity to ever get much of anything out of him.
This offseason does provide one intriguing outside piece for the Mets to add. Matt Chapman hits the open market and if the Mets are interested in securing the position with power and superb defense, he’s the guy to go and get. This pushes Baty further out of the picture. It wouldn’t be the first time. He was nearly moved away from ever getting familiar with third base when it looked like the Mets were signing Carlos Correa. Of course, Chapman’s offense hasn’t been great this year. It might not be the wisest of big buys for David Stearns to make.
Although Baty’s trade value is down and you don’t always want to sell low, it might be the team’s last shot at getting anything in return. The 2024 season could be a year of patience for the ball club and fans. What they can’t do is sit on their hands so long that they go numb.