The Mets will be fine at third base, but need to improve this other spot in the lineup

Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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The Carlos Correa saga has mercifully come to a close, and he will not be playing third base for the New York Mets. He will be returning to Minnesota on a shorter term deal but with more money upfront. 

As I wrote about two weeks ago, the Mets will be fine at third base (disregard the last section about Rafael Devers since he has signed an extension with Boston in the meantime). Brett Baty will likely get the lionshare of the playing time with Eduardo Escobar playing against lefties. If they falter, it’s also possible we see Mark Vientos or even Ronny Mauricio, since he’s been playing third in winter ball.

The point of all that is that the Mets have plenty of options at third base this year, with Manny Machado looming in free agency next year if he opts out (which he will) and if none of the in-house options work out. 

The Mets need to focus on improving the DH spot, which Trey Mancini would do

Mancini would be a DH, first base, and 4th outfielder option, since he has experience playing both corner outfield spots. Offensively, he’s got an intriguing combination of power and discipline that is a step up from any DH option the Mets currently have.

The righty had a bit of a down year in 2022, largely due to his struggles after being traded to Houston at the trade deadline. Overall, he slashed .239/.319/.391/.710 with 18 homers, 23 doubles, 63 RBI’s, and an OPS+ of 101. His first half in Baltimore was very much in line with his career averages, slashing .268/.347/.404/.751 with an OPS+ of 113.

Mancini would be an excellent replacement for Darin Ruf. He’s a better athlete, so he wouldn’t be limited to a strictly DH/pinch-hit role. If the Mets still wanted to get Vogelbach DH at-bats against right-handed pitchers, they could still get Mancini’s bat into the lineup because of his versatility.

Trey Mancini seems to be the best free agent bat available. If the Mets want to improve that position at this point of the offseason with someone who’s not already in the organization, this is the move to make.

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