The Daniel Vogelbach trade the New York Mets made at the end of last week creates a slight issue. If the latest Mets rumors about their interest in Josh Bell become true, the out-of-options Vogelbach would exist on the same roster with two other first basemen.
With Pete Alonso at first base, Bell would be the obvious candidate to start at DH as often as possible with Vogelbach maybe occasionally getting the nod when a righty is on the mound. Bell has played a few innings as a corner outfielder in his career but shouldn’t be thought of anything other than a first baseman/DH candidate for the Mets.
So what happens if these Mets rumors do come true and we see Bell wearing the orange and blue?
Mets rumors: Can the club fit Josh Bell and Daniel Vogelbach on the same roster?
Vogelbach is the clear replacement on the roster for Dominic Smith. There is no issue there. Bell could be viewed as an upgrade over J.D. Davis although that would then give the team far fewer right-handed bats they could turn to. The bench could then become Vogelbach, whoever the backup catcher is, Luis Guillorme, and Travis Jankowski.
The Mets are clearly not married to Jankowski remaining on the roster. After a strong start, he hasn’t been nearly as useful since returning from the IL. Purely an outfield depth piece, the Mets might try to survive without much positional versatility.
Jeff McNeil can play both corner outfield positions well enough. With the DH in the National League, there isn’t as great of a need to carry a whole bunch of guys to pinch hit. In some ways, this almost makes Vogelbach a little less useful especially with these latest Mets rumors suggesting they are still hoping to land Bell from the Washington Nationals.
Assuming it’s Bell who starts regularly as the DH, would a bench of a backup catcher, Vogelbach, Davis, and Guillorme be passable enough? It might only become a major issue during the periods when a guy is hurt but not badly enough to go straight to the IL. The Mets can use Guillorme anywhere on the infield. If needed, they could always throw Eduardo Escobar over at second base and allow Davis to play one of the few positions they still allow him to go to defensively, third base.
The Mets roster isn’t perfectly built when carrying three first basemen. The Vogelbach trade wasn’t bad. However, it has already created some early questions before the team has even added the bigger bat the lineup needs.