What will the Mets third base situation look like next season?

Third base remains a questionable position for the Mets' future.
San Francisco Giants v New York Mets
San Francisco Giants v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The third base situation for the New York Mets remains unsolved with Brett Baty not hitting well and Mark Vientos leaving a lot to be desired on the defensive side of things. The idea of signing Alex Bregman has suddenly become a major turnoff with the year he is having.

The struggle to find a competent third baseman is nothing new in Mets history. The trade for Jim Fregosi was the first hex on the position. Although we later got Howard Johnson and David Wright during two different eras with Edgardo Alfonzo and Robin Ventura sprinkled in at the position in between, the organization has struggled to find stability there.

What could the position look like in 2025?

Expect the Mets to experiment further at third base in 2025

The Mets won’t “punt” at the position in 2025. Rather, expect some creativity. 

Creativity, by the way, isn’t always a good thing. Walk around enough art museums and you’ll come to realize what some people see as creative is just a couple of lines on a piece of paper.

Assuming the Mets do have Baty and Vientos back in the picture next season, the continuation of them sharing third base solo needs to conclude. Instead, Vientos should either be the top choice or third-string in case of an emergency.

Ronny Mauricio is the missing competitor from this year’s Mets team who would’ve gotten innings at the position. Far more versatile than these other two, starting him on the roster as a utility man and occasional starting third baseman is one plan.

But here comes the big downside of it all. A Mets roster with Baty, Mauricio, and Vientos sounds good in theory. Would they carry all three of them plus Luisangel Acuna? Acuna and Mauricio are a bit redundant. Acuna would be a valuable player to have around in a different way. What he isn’t is a third baseman.

Some outside help for the Mets at third base

Revisiting Gio Urshela in free agency would give the Mets a veteran presence on the infield. He’d probably only come to the Mets if there was some sort of guarantee for significant playing time. One reason why he ended up with the Detroit Tigers over the Mets was because Joey Wendle had already taken the utility infield role.

There isn’t a shortstop the Mets could reasonably sign and convert to third base. Ha-Seong Kim has a mutual option with the San Diego Padres, however, he is having a down year and would probably prefer to play shortstop anyway. He’ll make a lot more money doing so.

Two bolder options available would be to go after another free agent or trade candidate. Matt Chapman has an opt out of his contract. Could he be a more realistic choice for the Mets without the qualifying offer penalties attached? On the trade front, Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies is having a good year, but without a single season in the past with an OPS+ of 100 or better, we shouldn’t buy in too hard. He’d be more of a salary dump addition with $44 million left on his deal after 2024.

There will be a lot of open salary space for the Mets to spend to upgrade the roster. They’ll have an opening at first base, the outfield, and DH. While able to fill each with an internal candidate, it wouldn’t help make the Mets any better.

A combination of players is probably the direction to go. The original plan of a three-prospect competition between Baty, Mauricio, and Vientos should resume with some help from a veteran. Rather than try to overpay for a veteran at third base, let them figure it out with a little help from a guy like Urshela. Spend on an outfielder and first baseman. Upgrade the rotation. Rebuild a bullpen that’ll have a lot of empty slots.