It’s almost a given now that Brett Baty will be on the 2023 New York Mets Opening Day roster. The clock on his service time has begun so unless he ends up struggling mightily while in the majors this year, he’s going to stick around.
He’ll probably have some company, too. The Mets have several prospects very close to major league ready. Which ones could we see join Baty for game number one to kick off the 2023 season?
1) NY Mets prospect Francisco Alvarez might be ready by Opening Day 2023
Will Francisco Alvarez be ready to catch in the major leagues when the 2023 season opens up? The Mets are going to need to know the answer before Opening Day.
The catching situation in Flushing isn’t timed perfectly. James McCann will have two more years under contract and backup Tomas Nido seems to be a near-perfect second-string backstop for the team. Pitchers love working with him but a tough decision may need to be made regarding him.
The Mets could always look to move McCann. Designating him for assignment doesn’t seem so likely but maybe a bad contract swap or sending him elsewhere while eating a large part of his contract could happen. However, it does set the Mets up with only Nido—an obvious backup—and their star rookie, Alvarez. Just because Alvarez is expected to grow into a big league hitter doesn’t mean he will. In fact, we shouldn’t expect him to be all that great when he first arrives.
One possibility for the Mets is to have Alvarez get regular at-bats as a DH in the major leagues. Pair him alongside Daniel Vogelbach regularly and maybe they can get a better picture of how ready he is for MLB action. On days when Vogelbach starts, Alvarez could even get some innings behind the plate.
Ideally, the Mets wouldn’t want to promote Alvarez until they’re sure he is ready. However, if they open the season with McCann and Nido around, they’re going to have to get rid of one of them eventually. Nido could also be a trade candidate as well. There is always a market for a quality backup catcher. Alvarez will need to finish the season in Triple-A strong and impress the Mets next spring in order to crack the Opening Day roster.