4. NY Mets Second Baseman/ DH Robinson Cano
While the rest of the names on this list are much lesser-known names, that doesn't mean that Robinson Cano isn't an X-Factor this year. While the veteran second baseman was once one of the top players in the league, Cano is now a 39-year old making big money, coming off of his second PED suspension. It is fair to question whether or not the veteran can still contribute at a high level.
However, with the addition of the designated hitter to the National League, more regular playing time for Cano appears likely. Unlike the other candidates for the DH, such as J.D. Davis, Dom Smith, and Jeff McNeill, the team will be unable to trade him, so he will be a piece of their roster one way or another. While he will likely have some games sprinkled in at second base, he will likely spend most of his time as a DH, when he does start.
If the team doesn't add another bat via free agency or trade, the best potential option for the Mets at DH is to go a revolving door, where everyone gets a game at DH when they need a rest, while the majority of the time is spent as a platoon between Cano and Davis. Cano could play against right-handers, while Davis could play against left-handers, while allowing the two to not play the field often, since neither is expected to add much value to the team with their gloves in 2022.
Whether or not Cano can still hit remains to be seen, but during the pandemic shortened season, Cano proved that he can still swing the bat. According to Baseball Reference, Cano hit .316 with 10 home runs, 30 RBI, and a .352 OBP in 2020, while playing in 49 games. Obviously he was suspended for the use of PEDs after that season, but if he can contribute anything close to that stat line this season, he can be a valuable piece for this Mets team, while also serving as a veteran presence in the clubhouse
Clearly, the Mets have the star power and some potential sleeper pieces that could make them a legitimate contender this offseason. Ultimately, it will come down to if the team can stay healthy enough to make a deep run, as it is no secret that this team has struggled to stay healthy over the years.