Odds are much better in favor of the New York Mets signing an outfielder to be their starting DH than any other position. The corner outfield options are far more abundant and the team could afford to have one on the roster anyway. Then there's infielder Justin Turner and DH-only J.D. Martinez plus a couple of first basemen. We don’t need the Mets touching that group.
Whoever it is the Mets choose can have a major effect on a pair of players. While not in direct competition, one could make an argument that the Mets shouldn't carry DJ Stewart and Mark Vientos on the major league roster to begin the year. It's roster redundancy to keep both around.
In theory, they can co-exist as each would have a different role. But with three bench spots already occupied by a backup catcher, Joey Wendle, and Tyrone Taylor, we see how crowded things can get.
Will the Mets keep DJ Stewart or Mark Vientos?
Stewart becomes completely unnecessary if the Mets add another outfielder. Although there'd be room for some playing time, they'd already have five plus Jeff McNeil. Vientos might not be much of an infielder but at least he'd be an option at either corner infield position. Stewart does have a remaining minor league option left and it should get used except under one circumstance.
If Turner ends up as the player the Mets sign, they’ll suddenly have a lot of third base choices. What good is Vientos then? He's not going to DH over Turner. He's already behind Baty on the third base depth chart. Even if he can kill left-handed pitchers, the Mets will face far more righties for Stewart to do damage against.
Then comes the other two options. What if the Mets don’t keep either on the Opening Day roster? It would require a pair of moves most likely. Chances are, one of these guys is on the team to open the season and the other isn’t. The hardest to predict may be if it’s Martinez they end up signing.
Martinez as the everyday DH will probably favor Vientos slightly. The fact that McNeil is a much better corner outfielder than third baseman is the reason why. Without Vientos, Wendle is the lone ranger on the roster for infield innings.
Both players should see MLB action in 2024. Vientos, as the younger of the two with one more minor league option to burn, has the edge. Roster construction is only good enough, however, to get him on the team for Opening Day. He’ll need to perform to stay.