1 drastic roster change the New York Mets need to start considering
By Thomas Yorke
The New York Mets trail the Atlanta Braves in the National League East but not by much. If they were to continue at this pace, they wouldn’t even win 90 games. You can preach patience, point out their injuries, or even say that established major league hitters will eventually find their strokes. As a lifetime Mets fan, I’ve been down that familiar road before and I’m tired of it. This is a win now team that needs to focus on, well, winning now.
What is wrong with the 2023 Mets?
The simplest way to put it is that the Mets are not getting clutch hits. Runners in scoring position appear to scare the life out of their hitters. The Mets have a multitude of table setters on their roster but are not getting much power from anyone not named Pete Alonso. This has to change if the Mets harbor any hope to do anything significant in this year's post season.
The team is very good at working the count, drawing walks, and even getting hit-by-pitch. This helps transition their team batting average of only .242 into a team with an on base percentage of .334, fourth in the league. Now that we have runners on base, what do we plan to do with them? The Mets are 30th and dead last in MLB in runners left in scoring position at 4.10 per game. Fourth in on base percentage, last in runners left in scoring position.
Now that we know what’s wrong with the Mets, how do we fix it?
It’s pretty obvious that the Mets need to add another dynamic hitter into the middle of their batting order. That can either be done by trade or promotion from the minors. I believe that before we start giving away our prospects, we should first see if there is any help to be had in our minor league system. I believe that they should promote Ronny Mauricio to the major league team and put him at 2B. He’s a career shortstop but has been moved to 2B this season at AAA Syracuse where he is hitting .333.
This means we will have to move Jeff McNeil to the outfield. That will mean that we have a pair of outfielders in Mark Canha and Starling Marte but only one available outfield position. They are both right handed so you can’t platoon them. Both players are 34 years old. What would then be the deciding fact between the two of them? That is easy: Money! Cold hard cash. Marte has two more years on his contract at a little over $20 mil per season. Canha is making $11 mil in the last year of his contract with only a club option for next year.
OK, we solved the problem with the Mets, or have we?
Before we can promote Mauricio to the active roster, we have to remove someone to make room for him. We’ve established that Canha is now a spare part in our brave new baseball world. I would add Eduardo Escobar and Tommy Pham to this list. It would be great if we could find a trade partner who would be willing to send us a low level prospect in a trade for one of these players. However, all the MLB teams know about our situation and wouldn’t be too willing to trade for a player today who very well might be a free agent tomorrow. My choice would have to be Escobar. Trade, demote, or release him and we would be replacing an infielder with an infielder.
It will be hard to lose somebody’s favorite player like Escobar, but a drastic change needs to come nonetheless. If this doesn’t work, get ready for the Mets to be a major player at the trade deadline but a change is necessary. If not, we’ll be an 89 win team hoping for the last wild card spot with an early postseason exit.
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same things while expecting different results. I think Einstein was a Mets fan.