The New York Mets are going for everything in 2023. After winning 101 games and reaching the playoffs last year, they set a payroll record, and now the time has come to achieve that long-awaited championship.
However, the Mets need to make moves and decisions this preseason that shows they will carry the best players. Just like in 2019, Brodie Van Wagenen's front office decided that if Pete Alonso did a good spring training, he would make the team regardless of service time. Billy Eppler has to do the same.
The Mets should do to their prospects what they did with rookie Pete Alonso
This is not about service time. The Mets are in a historic preseason after achieving a payroll level never seen before, showing they are all-in, in win-now mode.
To win, the team needs to establish a competitive but high-impact roster, with the best players available to try to win as many games as possible during the season and get to the playoffs. The organization isn't in a historic, exorbitant spending mode but to see players like Darin Ruf hit a ground ball, fly to second base, or strike out with runners in scoring position, they need the best players in the lineup.
Brett Baty is currently leading the team in hits and batting average, hitting nearly .500. Mark Vientos is the leader in RBI and at-bats, hitting over .300. Ronny Mauricio leads the team in home runs. These top prospects are doing everything they've been asked to do, and they're doing it correctly.
The Mets have a good problem, they have enough options with youth to cover areas of need. Darin Ruf still sees a turn at bat to show that last year was an outlier in his career, Eduardo Escobar barely has two hits in 16 turns at-bats, and Tommy Pham has just one hit in equal turns.
This is not the time for mistakes, especially in a division as competitive as the East of the National League. Eppler must understand that he was wrong with Ruf and cut ties with him, Escobar must move to a utility role on the team, and Pham to a fourth outfielder option at most.
With this, the Mets have the possibility of loading at least two of these prospects, one to cover third base, in this case possibly Baty, and another to cover the DH position in a platoon, which could be Vientos while Mauricio plays SS, 3B, and OF in the minors to move up early in the year.
This movement would show that the Mets are going for everything this year, rewarding those who have earned it with a regular position and above all, putting the best possible lineup on the field to achieve the championship.