The Mark Vientos demotion is the beginning of the end of his time with the Mets

It was now or never for Mark Vientos and the Mets are making it easy to be never.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game Two
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets - Game Two / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Mark Vientos won’t open the 2024 season on the New York Mets roster. A late twist shortly before Opening Day, it’s about more than the club signing J.D. Martinez.

Vientos could have remained with the Mets if he hit more consistently. Improved defense would have helped his case, too. Instead, Vientos has remained pretty much the same player he has been since 2022 when he first played in the big leagues for a short period of time. The power is there to some degree. However, with the abundance of strikeouts and no real position, he was never an ideal player for the roster.

Demoting him to begin the year won’t make him a non-factor in 2024. However, jumping ahead a year, it’s hard to imagine how this isn’t the beginning of the end of his time in Flushing.

Mark Vientos will not be on the Mets 40-man roster next year

The demotion will be Vientos’ third option to the minors. He has been sent down at some point in each of the last three seasons which now puts him on the level of needing to be on the 26-man roster or in DFA limbo.

Starting off the season in the minors makes a lot of sense for Vientos who would become redundant once Martinez joins the big league squad. Playing him regularly at third base can help, but it’s wishful thinking to believe he’ll suddenly become a viable option at the hot corner.

Vientos’ true big league role is as a right-handed DH. And at least for now, the Mets have a better alternative with Martinez. He’ll be depth this season and maybe not the best kind other than to receive at-bats as a DH or first baseman.

What about next year? 

If it’s a situation where he needs to be on the 26-man roster, which is now the case as of 2025, it’s hard to imagine how much else will change. In the absence of Pete Alonso, he could be a first base option. That might only be temporary as the team seems high on Ryan Clifford and they could probably get more production from a proven player even if it’s not one who’ll cost as much as Alonso. Making him the starting DH seems equally as farfetched. It would require a huge improvement.

Plus, if the team does land Juan Soto, we’d have to expect any outfield alignment in the future with him, Brandon Nimmo, Jett Williams, and Drew Gilbert in some capacity as the plan.

The demotion may be sold as an opportunity for Vientos to work on his defense and cut down on the strikeouts. It’s much more than that. It's the final lap of his time in Queens. It won’t end so spectacularly.