Unlike other components of the team, it is entirely possible the New York Mets already have their full group of starting position players for 2022 on the roster. Ironically, it also leaves them with perhaps some of their toughest decisions.
Lost in all the excitement around the signing of Max Scherzer, the Mets did most of their pre-lockout work on improving the offense. Outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, and infielder Eduardo Escobar, were each signed to multiyear deals less than two weeks after Billy Eppler was named General Manager in late November.
All three figure to see significant playing time, but exactly how and where are still a bit unclear. The signings of Marte and Canha spell the likely end of Michael Conforto’s time in Queens, but uncertainty remains around the future of several Mets coming off down years – most notably Jeff McNeil, who has been the subject of trade rumors. Among other questions, the Mets must also account for Robison Cano’s return from a year-long suspension and the likely addition of the Designated Hitter to the National League next season.
Ultimately, the key question for the Mets lineup is not so much who they will have, but where each player fits best.
Let’s look at each piece the Mets have and how they can put the puzzle together. For the purpose of this exercise, we’ll assume the Designated Hitter is universally adopted for 2022, but if it isn’t, there’s always the intrigue of a Jacob deGrom plate appearance to look forward to.