Mets roster newcomers: 1 to keep, 1 to send far away, 1 worth debating

Three newcomers to the Mets roster on three different timelines.
Texas Rangers v New York Mets
Texas Rangers v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
3 of 3

NY Mets outfielder Rafael Ortega is a debatable player to keep around

On the right roster, Rafael Ortega can be incredibly useful. His 2021 season with the Chicago Cubs is a perfect example. In 330 plate appearances, Ortega slashed .291/.360/.463 with 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases. It was about as ideal of a performance as you could ask for from a part-time player capable of playing center field.

The problem with the Mets keeping Ortega around involves his lack of minor league options and whether or not the roster is good enough with him and Stewart on it. Stewart has outperformed Ortega. However, Ortega adds a bit more on defense and brings much more speed to the game. The two are very different yet maybe not so necessary to have both.

The upside of holding onto Ortega and Stewart as two bench pieces next year comes down to a matter of “so what?” If Ortega doesn’t work for the Mets, he’s gone. It’s not a matter of choice between Ortega and a more proven starting outfielder. He’s merely a cog in the catastrophic plan to spend a little less money on the players in 2024.

Ortega will need to show a little more in the final weeks to officially earn a stay with the Mets for next year. A reunion on a minor league deal isn’t out of the question. A major league roster spot is where things get congested.