Without signing Yoenis Cespedes, the lineup for the Mets will put a lot of confidence in David Wright to make up for the loss of Cespedes. Unfortunately, the captain has been injured over the past couple of years, and has played in over 120 games two times in the past five years. The health concerns for Wright in 2016 have provided the Mets with a need to add depth, which is exactly what they did over the offseason.
Entering the offseason, the Mets had Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada at shortstop. This was a position that needed to be upgraded, as Flores provided a decent bat, hitting 16 homers and driving in 59 runs. Flores’ defensive game was not terrible, but his 14 errors in 103 games at shortstop could be improved upon. On the other hand, Tejada had a nice season, but the Mets are not sold on Tejada being the starting shortstop, as he struggled offensively in 2013 and 2014.
The signing of Asdrubal Cabrera provides the Mets with durability and versatility. Since 2011, Cabrera has played in over 130 games and has played both middle infield positions. His acquisition gives the Mets a chance to use Flores or Tejada at third base. If the Mets would rather have them play second base, and let Neil Walker play third base, a position he played throughout his minor league career.
With these mixture of players, the team has created a roster that will be able to adjust to injuries and slumps. Even the minor league team has depth to offer the infield, as Dilson Herrera has already played in the majors, and Matt Reynolds has played solid baseball for Triple-A Las Vegas. Besides having a backup first baseman for Lucas Duda, the rest of the infield can adjust to unforeseen events that the regular season brings every year.
The front office has been smart this offseason by providing depth to the lineup, but one main problem the lineup will have is providing enough offense. Wright will have to provide quite a bit of offense in order for the team to make up for the loss of Cespedes. The last time Wright has over a 2.0 WAR was in 2013, when he made the All-Star Game. In 112 games, Wright hit .307, with 18 homers and 58 RBIs. This is a solid year, but with Duda, Granderson, and Walker having hit more than 20 homeruns a season, the Mets may need a little bit more production from Wright if they are going to compete for the division title again.
So far, BaseballReference.com has Wright projected to hit 9 homers, 37 RBIs and 38 runs in 346 plate appearances. These projections predict that Wright will miss some time throughout the season. FanGraphs.com projects that the captain will hit 14 homers with 62 RBIs in 553 appearances. This would most likely occur throughout the remainder of the season without any injuries.
These projections show that it is hard to determine what type of year David Wright will have, as no one is sure how healthy the third baseman will be, or what type of player he will be. In any case, the Mets need Wright to be healthy, and the front office played it smart to provide depth in the infield.