Darin Ruf is still with the New York Mets (for now) but we all believe that won’t be the case when Opening Day rolls around. We can come up with reasons why he’s still here. The most obvious explanation is that the Mets are hoping to swap him for anything at all.
The DH situation in Flushing hasn’t changed for now with Daniel Vogelbach having his option picked up. He, too, could always end up moved. If he does stay, which is entirely realistic, the Mets will need to find a suitable DH platoon partner for him.
While searching for an answer, Randal Grichuk came across my screen. The right-handed hitting outfielder for the Colorado Rockies slashed .308/.333/.593 versus lefties last season. His 11 home runs versus southpaws was tied for seventh with players like Manny Machado, Nolan Arenado, and Paul Goldschmidt who all happened to finish in the top three of the MVP vote. Lifetime, Grichuk is hitting .261/.307/.495 versus southpaws. Could he be the solution?
Where Randal Grichuk fits with the Mets roster better than Darin Ruf
Grichuk is a right fielder but he has played center fielder as his primary position as recently as 2021. On the Mets, he’d be able to play right field regularly and maybe allow the team to do a few other things when they face a left-handed starter. Pete Alonso can take over DH duties and Mark Canha can get some innings at first base. Starling Marte moves over to left field, unless of course he is the starting center fielder from Opening Day onward.
Because this isn’t a simple free agent signing, there are other factors at play. Grichuk is signed for one more season to a hefty $10.33 million deal. It’s quite a bit for a part-time player. He could conceivably be a fit for the Mets in a more regular role as a starting right fielder with Marte starting in center field and Canha in left field. The problem here is the Mets haven’t really upgraded the offense, have they?
Grichuk would be a very good upgrade over Ruf in the role he held with the Mets in 2022. On the 2023 roster, however, things get very tight.
The Mets are on a budget even if it’s one of historical proportions. In an ideal situation, at least a part of James McCann’s contract is moved to Colorado in exchange for Grichuk. The Mets would have to toss in something of value. The Rockies aren’t exactly looking to punt the coming year.
The biggest boxes to check off, the ability to hit lefties and do more than play first base, are what Grichuk could bring to the Mets. He’s an obvious upgrade over Ruf. Is he much more than that, though?