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:
- Amed Rosario, SS
- Jason Kipnis, 2B
- Yoenis Cespedes, LF
- Michael Conforto, CF
- Todd Frazier, 1B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B
- Travis d’Arnaud, C
- CL – Jeurys Familia
- SU – Jerry Blevins
- SU – Anthony Swarzak
- MR – AJ Ramos
- MR – Paul Sewald
- MR – Josh Smoker
- LR – Seth Lugo/Zack Wheeler