Jeff McNeil is on the New York Mets trade block this offseason in a twist nobody saw coming one year ago today. McNeil had climbed into the core of the franchise and looked like the future at one of the many positions he is able to play.
A down year in 2021 plus some struggles with shortstop Francisco Lindor nixed the idea of the Mets moving forward with him at second base. Although there are other spots for him to conceivably play, second base is the most logical at this point when we look at their additions brought in pre-lockout.
Until the lockout is settled, McNeil’s fate will remain unclear. But this will give the front office a bunch of time to figure out what their next move would be if they do indeed trade everyone’s once-favorite everyday utility man.
Signing Kris Bryant is the simplest and most powerful move the Mets can then make
What could Kris Bryant possibly have to do with McNeil? The two play different positions. You don’t swap one directly for the other.
You’re a smart baseball fan so you already have this figured out. Just as McNeil is known for being able to move all over the field, so is Bryant.
A big reason why Mets fans were eyeing Bryant long before the offseason began was how flexible he is. Third base is his primary position. However, last season alone, he played all three outfield positions and even logged two innings at shortstop. These options opened up a lot of possibilities for the Mets as they were seeking a replacement for Michael Conforto.
Now that the Mets do have three outfielders, anything else they do will probably involve a shift in the infield. Subtract McNeil from the mix and add Bryant, they can then move Eduardo Escobar over to second base.
Bing. Bang. Boom. The Mets suddenly have a much different looking infield and power at all four positions.
All Bryant will cost is money. For that reason, he’s the simplest choice.