The Mets roster needs some tweaking but not an overhaul. Who are the players whose time has come to part ways? See what you think.
The Mets are stuck in a ditch. Always “this close” to joining the top tier of teams in the league who always seem to find a way to participate in the postseason, but rarely there.
Along the way, we’ve found scapegoats with managers, first Terry Collins, and then Mickey Callaway. At the top, it’s always been Fred Wilpon and his golden boy Brodie Van Wagenen.
But rarely do we look at the Mets players with a discerning eye that overrides our allegiance to them as “one of ours” to say this one doesn’t fit with what we are trying to accomplish here, so we need to replace him.
Analyzing the current roster has to be the first step, though, before we talk about replacements. Why target Anthony Rizzo, for instance, as a free-agent first baseman when Pete Alonso is there for the next decade?
Mets: Who Stays And Who Needs To Go
As we scan down the Mets active roster, two notables, Noah Syndergaard and Robert Gsellman, are missing but included on the 40-man roster.
So if you are Sandy Alderson, excuse me, Brodie Van Wagenen, two players on the active roster, will automatically be gone when Syndergaard (for sure) and Gsellman (maybe) are removed from the IL.
In most cases, the players who will not be retained by the Mets for 2021 have done it to themselves.
Van Wagenen’s experiment with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, while not a total disaster, warrants that each has no place on the pennant-winning team the Mets are striving to attain.
Similarly, whatever is wrong with Steven Matz (right) is taking far too long to correct, and the Mets should have no fear of him becoming the next Nolan Ryan on another team when they trade him.
The emergence of Andres Gimenez seems to seriously challenge the need for Amed Rosario, whose troubles can be traced to being rushed along by the Mets, together with the lack of skill training in the team’s farm system.
Alderson and Steve Cohen are making a strong effort to bolster the Mets system, but for Rosario, it’s probably too late to correct the sins of the past. He is potentially good trade bait, though.
Moving away from the more obvious Mets candidates for disposal, we come to a player like Dellin Betances. Once the heat-throwing machine for the Yankees as the set-up guy for Aroldis Chapman, since his arm surgery, Betances is just not the same, and his velocity scares no one.
The ball is in Betances’ court for next season, and his contract is complicated. He can declare for free agency in 2021 (the best scenario for the Mets), or he can opt-in for $6 million.
At 33 (yes, time flies by), Betances can still contribute based on his resume – but will he?
J. D. Davis (right) represents another interesting choice for the Mets in 2021. Following a breakout year in 2019 in which he batted .307 with 22 home runs and 57 RBI, Davis fell off this year (.247, 6, 19), leaving the Mets to wonder who the real J.D Davis is?
Versatile at third base or left field, the Mets are at some point going to have to commit to Dominic Smith as an every-day outfielder given his explosiveness with the bat.
MLB’s decision as to whether or not the universal DH will carry forward to next year and beyond will weigh heavily on the Mets’ decision with Davis, as the DH spot fits Smith like a (David Ortiz) glove.
Seth Lugo is another Mets player who should be on the bubble. Reliever or starter, he’s been bounced around, and finally, this year, it seems to have caught up with him.
Appearing in sixteen games, seven of which were starts, Lugo was not impressive with an ERA of 5.15 and a career-high 1.364 WHIP.
His resume is enough to draw attention if Lugo is put out there as a trade target for another team looking to bolster their bullpen.
Mets Depth Seriously In Question
As you further peruse the Mets active roster, you come across players like Brad Brach, Miguel Castro, Ariel Jurado, Franklyn Kilome, Erasmo Ramirez, Thomas Szapucki, Robinson Chirinos, Patrick Mazeika, Ali Sánchez, Ryan Cordell, and Guillermo Heredia – and you have to do a double check wondering if this is the best the Mets can do concerning the overall depth of their team.
I’m not about to play general manager with any of these players, because like you perhaps, I’m wondering – who the hell are they?
Where’s The Beef?
But it does go to show that the Mets are hardly a team with the depth that is required to make it through what is hoped to be a six-month 162-game campaign next year.
The starting lineup of the Mets is one of the best in the league. Littered with All-Stars like Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith (right), Jeff McNeill, and in his way, Brandon Nimmo, the Mets can hit and score runs
Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in baseball, and Noah Syndergaard, assuming he can return with authority, can be a knock-out one-two punch in any series the Mets encounter.
But there’s work to be done before the Mets are on a par with the Dodgers, and dare I say it, the Yankees.
Alderson and Cohen have a two-fold job. They are beginning in the right place, which is to look at the Mets’ overall organization to make long-overdue changes.
Mets Fans Expecting Big Changes
But fans are not concerned with that as much as how the team performs on the field and in the standings.
Terry Collins used to say when he was cast with a bunch of “imports” because the Wilpon’s refused to open their pocket-book (paraphrasing) that he didn’t care who the players were in his clubhouse.
Because once you put on a major league uniform, you are expected to play like one.
He’s right, of course, and occasionally as in the case of Brandon Nimmo, an overachiever answers the call.
But a wish and a prayer will not alter the Mets status next season without bold moves that consider the current active roster to decide – who stays and who goes.
Internally, once that is decided, the Mets can indulge themselves in the free-agent market that will open up five days after the conclusion of the World Series and the pursuit of trades that is open season until next July.
What the Mets have is good – but it not good enough.