How well does Jason Kipnis fit the Mets?

As a Met fan, I haven’t seen anything this offseason that has left me especially giddy.  Where their cross-town rivals, the Yankees, have made the big splash with Giancarlo Stanton, the Mets have been quiet.

They picked up the options on Jerry Blevins and Asdrubal Cabrera and they signed a right-handed reliever, Anthony Swarzak.  Because of these moves the Mets have quietly checked off three boxes in the offseason plan but haven’t made a legitimate push towards contention.

With the Mets now only looking at a handful of players, it’s time to see how well each of them fit with the 2018 team.

Jason Kipnis, is coming off his worst offensive year since 2014.  He only played in 90 games and the second baseman’s .705 OPS isn’t exactly a promising metric.  Yet, at the age of 30, there is reason to hope that his numbers from 2017 will prove to be another anomaly in a career that has had some pretty impressive highs.

Now, assuming a return to form, the Mets would have a second baseman with solid defensive numbers to pair with Amed Rosario and a fairly well rounded bat for the front end of their lineup.  Kipnis has always profiled as a 15/15 hitter who can flirt with 20/20.  He also profiles as a .275 hitter with great linedrive potential making him an option for the Mets second spot in the batting order.

The big problem here is that fans might remember the last time the Mets acquired a talented second baseman from Cleveland.  Roberto Alomar came to the Mets on the heels of an MVP caliber season (considering his 150 OPS+) and the Mets had high expectations for his performance.  The Mets soured on Alomar quickly and ran him out of town after one and a half seasons.  Hopefully Kipnis would do better.

Jay Bruce, is another name that is intriguing for the Mets.  Bruce was traded to the Indians at the tail end of 2017 since the Mets had fallen from contention and Sandy Alderson was looking to save some money.  Now, the Mets and Bruce are looking at a reunion and the fans seem pretty psyched.

I’ll point out that I got laughed at when in 2016 I suggested Sandy Alderson was wise for picking up Bruce’s option and that Met fans were ready to dump the slugging outfielder after his 50 game audition at the end of the 2016 season.  Yet, people cannot deny that the Mets need another power bat in the heart of their lineup and that Bruce fits the description.

Todd Frazier, is an interesting option.  The Mets picked up the option on Cabrera, essentially filling their need for a third basemen, and they’re looking like favorites to trade for Kipnis.  Where on this team does Todd Frazier fit?

The answer here has two parts.  One, the Mets don’t seem eager to hand Dominic Smith the reins at first base, and two, they could always use Cabrera as a super sub.  Frazier is still good enough defensively that it would be a shame to relegate him to first base, but the Mets could really use his righty bat in what appears to be a lefty dominant lineup.  Smith, we’d assume, would go to AAA and attempt to earn his way back into the major league roster.

Let’s just take a peak at what these moves would leave the Mets looking like:

Lineup:

  1. Amed Rosario, SS
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  4. Michael Conforto, CF
  5. Todd Frazier, 1B
  6. Jay Bruce, RF
  7. Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B
  8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

Rotation:

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Noah Syndergaard
  3. Matt Harvey
  4. Steven Matz
  5. Zack Wheeler/Robert Gsellman/Seth Lugo

Bullpen:

Bench:

16 comments for “How well does Jason Kipnis fit the Mets?

  1. Sinhalo27
    December 18, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Lol @ Frazier in the 5 hole ahead of Bruce. Lol @ Frazier on this team even. Sure the Yankees can accommodate but this team can’t really withstand a .220 hitter with 150 rally killing Ks- not even talking about money even. Conspicuously absent from the story are Frazier’s statistics.

  2. MattyMets
    December 18, 2017 at 11:57 am

    And here you see again why Dee Gordon or Lorenzo Cain made more sense. Rosario can not bat leadoff. Swings at everything and draws no walks.

  3. Metsense
    December 18, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    There are still many options to this “finger puzzle”.
    Cain provides defense, speed, and consistent offense from the lead off spot. Todd Frazier provides right handed power and Adams/Duda provides left handed power. Cabrera is adequate at second. It is within salary range. It is not ideal but it seems to be a more balanced lineup.

  4. Chris
    December 18, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    if they spent the money – which they won’t – so just for “fun”- it would be more like:

    Nimmo early/ Conforto later when he is healthy in cf ( Better OBP at the top)
    Kipnis 2b
    Ces lf
    Bruce rf
    Frazier 3b
    Smith 1b
    d’Arnaud c
    Rosario ss

    Cabrera, Plawecki, Lagares, Flores and one of Conforto/Nimmo

    or they could blow our minds (read never happen with this bunch of idiot owners) and trade for Machado to play SS- not sign Frazier and move Rosario to 2b and have Cabrera at 3b.. hahahahaha!

    Editor’s Note – Please do not capitalize words in your post, as that is a violation of our Comment Policy.

  5. NormE
    December 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    The Mets did poorly twice with Cleveland 2Bers. You mentioned Alomar, but before that was Carlos Bierga. Not a good track record.

    • Mike Walczak
      December 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Don’t forget the other boat anchor, Juan Samuel. We did have a few decent second sackers including Edgardo Alfonzo. I personally liked Felix Millan.

  6. Jimmy P
    December 18, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Kipnis is interesting, seems like a player. Mets are a leaderless lot, and this guy could help. The salary is high, so even a prospect-poor team like Mets can acquire him in trade. Meaning: Kipnis is realistic option.

    I don’t see Frazier on the Mets. I get that he’s a good guy and strong glove. But I believe this ship has sailed.

    On Bruce: I don’t understand why he’d return to Mets, but I guess money talk w/ most folks. Personally I’m not high on 4 years, but 3 seems right. Twice in the recent past he’s been out there on the open market and the entire MLB has yawned. 3/45 seems about right, but that either locks Conforto into CF (hate that) or moves Bruce to 1B (could be okay).

    The annual lack of leadoff hitter — forget that, tablesetter — is frustrating. I believe Conforto in leadoff spot is suboptimal use of team’s best pure hitter.

    I like Cain, personally.

    Bullpen is still weak, especially if we’d actually consider starting season with Sewald & Smoker. Still need a guy in here. Also, I don’t believe in Ramos as flexible reliever; he likes to close or else gets distracted. I’d move him and bring in two others if possible.

    And they could use a quality starter to join Noah and Jake up at the top three slots.

    All things considered: I’d go Kipnis & Cain and add another solid arm to the pen and live with it.

  7. Eraff
    December 18, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    I like Kipnis…he can play the entire game…same with Cain.

    The Mets are “stuck” with a young Guy at SS…but he profiles as a Superstar Hope. Between Cheech and Nimmo, and Flores, they have 3 young players who measure short of a full commitment.

    In Flores’ Case, I believe they should Move him—they’ve decided that he cannot field any position—I believe they’re correct. In the AL he can play DH…maybe field a position “sometimes”—he’s more useful there.

    • Jimmy P
      December 18, 2017 at 4:32 pm

      I like how you phrased that, “he can play the entire game.” Nice.

      Flores is a guy they should move. Sandy is not one to make trades willy-nilly just for the sake of improving the overall roster, but he should think about it. Would then need to add RH 1B-platoon type, hopefully who can play a marginal corner outfield if necessary.

      Team needs new faces and new energy. When people talk about maybe bringing back Duda I think they underestimate how depressing that would be for some fans (not me, but how it would go over out there).

      This is an entertainment business!

  8. December 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Meh. Take that Frazier money and use it to solidify the rotation, bullpen or bench. I’m ok with Smith/Bruce/Flores at first and Cabrera at third.

  9. Eraff
    December 18, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I’d like Harrison as well….. not quite the offensive finish, but He is a nice Roamer as a Glove and a guy who can participate in a lot of ways.

  10. December 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    What would the Indians want back in return? What can the Mets offer? His 13.67 million dollar salary is almost half of what the Mets have left in the kitty. I’d still prefer Cain in center field with Frazier at third base. We’ll see.

  11. Herb G
    December 18, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    The problem with the plan in the article is that it puts the Mets payroll several million $ above last year’s. Kipness’ $13.67 mil is too much to absorb. I would be all for signing Bruce (4 yrs/$44 mil) and Frazier (3 yrs/$33 mil) but I want to trade for Cesar Hernandez instead of Kipness.

    Lineup:
    Hernandez, 2B
    Cabrera, 3B
    Conforto,, CF
    Cespedes, LF
    Bruce, RF
    Frazier, 1B
    d’Arnaud, C
    Rosario, SS

    Hernandez leading off takes the pressure off Rosario, so he can bat lower in the order until he is more comfortable moving up.

  12. Eraff
    December 18, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I’m coming aound on Cain…especially given Conforto’s absence. Nimmo and Lego need to gain their way on. I look at it this way…. Flores and Cain vs. Kipness and Lagares/Nimmo—and I don’t need to surrender talent.

    The Dollars will be larger and longer, but I’m hoping that’s the route. Cain and whatever’s on hand at 2b.

    • Jimmy P
      December 19, 2017 at 11:07 am

      Cain is the new Curtis Granderson, who signed for 4/$60 back in 2014.

      With inflation.

      Good player. And every team needs good players.

      Because the farm system is such a colossal failure, such a massive undermining of everything Sandy was supposed to accomplish, the Mets can’t bring talent up and they can’t compete on the trade market for quality players. They need to sign somebody and Cain fits.

  13. DED
    December 20, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Totally beside the point but yesterday I learned the answer to a question I had not asked: “Kipnis” apparently is a Polish-Jewish name. I’m reading an entertaining book titled “Bad Rabbi” which tells all sorts of strange tales from the Yiddish newspapers (mostly) of New York and Warsaw, circa the 1920’s. A few photos included were shot by a guy named Kipnis.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: