National League General Managers have one more position to consider these days. The universal DH adds an extra needed bat to the lineup even if it isn’t necessarily a player who is exclusive to this role. The New York Mets failed mightily in this department during the 2022 season. Among their offseason needs is to address this spot properly.
What should they do?
There are plenty of directions for Billy Eppler to go. Let’s examine each of them and add a few names into the mix.
1) NY Mets can stick with a Daniel Vogelbach platoon
This doesn’t seem so appealing but it’s easy, cost-effective, and can work if the right-handed half of the platoon performs. In fact, the Mets don’t have to do all that much to make a DH platoon with Daniel Vogelbach effective. The team has already decided to keep Vogelbach around by picking up his $1.5 million option for 2023. Does this guarantee he's in a DH platoon? Not necessarily but probably.
Francisco Alvarez could be ready for regular MLB at-bats even if he isn’t the everyday catcher. Against lefties, the team could start him as the DH regularly. They could do the same with someone like Mark Vientos if he’s still with the organization. I have my doubts he will be.
Another internal option could be to simply rotate through several of the righty hitters on the roster. Starling Marte and Mark Canha could use more starts at the DH spot. So could Pete Alonso. Even Eduardo Escobar, especially with Brett Baty making his way to third base as a big leaguer, would be a candidate.
This doesn’t mean the Mets should ignore other areas. Perhaps adding a left-handed hitting outfielder with power is something to consider. He could start games regularly in one of the corner spots over Canha to add an extra threat.
Given how the results of this plan worked out in 2022, I’m kind of against it. Something tells me this is what the Mets do end up doing, though—at least until the trade deadline.