3 Mets Opening Day starters who won't be in the lineup next year and who could replace them
By Tim Boyle
3) NY Mets designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach will not be in next year’s starting lineup
So Escobar is replaced by Baty and Canha is replaced by someone a little less expensive who can hit for some nice power and play right field with Marte moving to left. Narvaez stays behind the plate because the Mets made the decision to hand him a player option in his 2024 contract.
Narvaez will have to have a really good year to not take his player option for 2024. Tomas Nido already received an extension as well. The Mets have shown their cards. They aren’t convinced Francisco Alvarez will be ready on Opening Day 2024 to start behind the plate.
This is where our third replaced player comes in. Designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach is everything from a non-tender to a trade candidate in the offseason. In fact, if things don’t get well during the 2023 regular season, moving on from him is a possibility, too.
The 2024 Mets Opening Day lineup will feature Alvarez as the team’s starting DH. It’s partly a result of them wanting his bat on the roster but also needing to see more out of him as a defensive player. He’ll get mixed in regularly with Narvaez and Nido. If things work well, the team will trade one of the veterans midseason to upgrade elsewhere. Carrying three catchers isn’t ideal but neither is having two first basemen like Vogelbach and Pete Alonso on your roster. This does mean Shohei Ohtani isn’t on the Mets roster and at this point I’m convinced he’s playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers next year.
The Mets won’t have a fully revamped starting lineup next year but it will include the infusion of their young bats. As undesirable as it may seem right now, their best improvements will come in the form of pitching. After making sure Max Scherzer is happy and stays put in Queens either by accepting his player option or agreeing to a new deal, the Mets go out and add another ace.