Every team has roster turnover from one year to the next. Ideally, you clean out the dead weight and don’t lost anyone too important from the previous year. Let’s take a look at the guys who saw at least some playing time – defined here as hitters with a minimum of 20 ABs in 2019 – who won’t return to the Mets in 2020.

Todd Frazier 447 112 198 40 12 0 0.251 0.329 0.443
Juan Lagares 258 55 84 22 2 1 0.213 0.279 0.326
Adeiny Hechavarria 142 29 51 8 1 0 0.204 0.252 0.359
Joe Panik 94 26 38 7 1 0 0.277 0.333 0.404
Carlos Gomez 86 17 29 7 3 1 0.198 0.278 0.337
Keon Broxton 49 7 8 4 0 0 0.143 0.208 0.163
Aaron Altherr 31 4 8 2 1 1 0.129 0.200 0.258
Rajai Davis 25 5 10 1 0 0 0.200 0.231 0.400
Travis d’Arnaud 23 2 2 2 0 0 0.087 0.160 0.087
Totals 1155 257 428 93 20 3 0.223 0.291 0.371

There were nine players who met our minimum AB threshold. Of those nine, the only one who will be missed is Frazier, who put up a 106 OPS+ and was a solid fielder at third base. But the Mets hope that some of his PA will be picked up by Jeff McNeil and others to Yoenis Cespedes. If that’s how it works out, there may not be any offensive dropoff at all. In fact, one might even forecast an increase in production.

As for the rest of the list – wow, that’s some terrible production. The eight non-Frazier departees combined for a .205/.267/.325 line in 777 PA.

The hope is that magically you can replace that lousy offense with something closer to average. The reality is that you’re always going to have this type of performance on your squad, regardless of the year. We regret the playing time given to Lagares, Hechavarria and Gomez in 2019. But the 2018 team responds with Jose Reyes (251 PA/62 OPS+), Austin Jackson (210 PA/79 OPS+) and Adrian Gonzalez (187 PA,/88 OPS+). And 2017 gave us Rene Rivera (187 PA/77 OPS+), Matt Reynolds (130 PA/71 OPS+) and Gavin Cecchini (82 PA/43 OPS+)

So, what can we gather from this? Last year, the injury to Brandon Nimmo opened up a lot of playing time in the outfield. And not one person was able to step up and come up with a well-timed hot streak. You can argue that Nimmo’s injury gave playing time to J.D. Davis and that’s at least partly true. But the team’s insistence on playing a “traditional” center fielder led to too many PA for Lagares, Gomez, Altherr, Broxton and Davis.

Injuries to Robinson Cano gave some infield playing time to reserves. Hechavarria was on the receiving end of a lot of this extra time and while he had a brief hot streak in the beginning, at the end of the day he hit like his career numbers suggested he would.

Outside of not moving Michael Conforto to CF sooner than they did, it’s hard to criticize the Mets’ decision making with replacing Nimmo. Brodie Van Wagenen was praised for the guys he brought in, both at the major and minor league level, as outfield depth. It just worked out that they all stunk. And the system didn’t have a homegrown major league-ready outfielder available. Sometimes you’re just dealt a bad hand.

But giving as much time to Hechavarria that they did was a bit of a head scratcher. Yes, he did show some unexpected power early on in his Mets tenure. But there was no reason to believe that Hechavarria was going to be much (if any) better than Luis Guillorme. And since it was always going to be tough to imagine Hechavarria being on the club long, they had Guillorme as a pre-arb player. They should have given him a chance with consistent PA. Perhaps the most likely outcome was no better than Hechavarria. But the chance, however slight, for something better – and Guillorme did have an .839 OPS in his final 28 games – should have been taken.

Here’s hoping that a healthy Cespedes and Jed Lowrie are creatures that exist in 2020. Those two will soak up a lot of ABs if they’re able to go. But even if they are good to go, there will still be some player on the roster to get 100 PA or more who makes you wince. Let’s hope this is limited to the backup catcher and not multiple spots with multiple attempted solutions.

9 comments on “The dead weight removed for the 2020 Mets

  • Eric H Kench

    You left out Tomas Nido who is still with the team. He is definitely another Kevin Plawecki. Can’t hit major league pitching to save his life. I think I’d rather have Rivera. At least he can hit his weight with some power. Nido doesn’t belong in the majors.

    • Brian Joura

      I didn’t forget Nido – he hasn’t been removed from the team.

  • NYM6986

    It is funny that I recall some big moments from this group of players aside from Frazier, and didn’t realize how overall what a poor a job they did at the plate. And you are spot on that if Ces and Lowrie can play it will be a game changer but regardless the expected bench is much stronger. I would still stock some strong AAAA players in Syracuse and former ML players looking for a comeback or one last hurrah. The list of pitchers deleted from this years roster would probably be as ugly. This is as strong a team on paper as we have had in years. Of course they have to kick off SP with two losses – that’s our team.

  • Remember1969

    I have this gnawing feeling that Jed Lowrie will be this year’s dead weight – he won’t hit much and he’ll be given too many chances to try to prove that he can.

    • Eric H Kench

      Right now he’s a backup middle infielder though I must say a bit overpriced for a bench player. His signing didn’t make any sense. He doesn’t have the arm to play on the left side of the infield though he was once a shortstop. When he’s completely healed he will push Cano. Competition is healthy.

  • footballhead

    The disastrous signings of Cano and Lowerie will be the dead weight for 2020. Cano will play because of that contract of his, and Lowerie will clog up a spot while he proves he can still play. I hate to wish ill on any man, but the Mets would be better off if Cano starts off the year injured, and Guillorme plays 2B for a solid month to see if he can cut it. If he hits as good/bad as Cano did last year, his glove would make it all worthwhile. Personally; I don’t like McNeil at 3B….the Mets really messed up by not giving him the job at 2B outright in 2019 and signing Cano.

    • Eric H Kench

      Guillorme doesn’t belong in the majors. It’s Davis that they have to find a position for. If they didn’t have Cano and Lowire then 2nd base would be McNeil’s position. Davis can play 3rd with some hard coaching. The Mets now have two new outfielders in Marisnick and Cordell who can play their position and hit with some power.

  • Metsense

    The Mets bench will consist of five players.
    Lagares is replaced by Marisnick ,who is a better player but has a career .660 OPS and likely be considered dead weight.
    Hechavarria is replaced by another a dead weight candidate in Guillerme. Lowrie does not appear healthy and likely not able to play back up shortstop.
    Nido or Rivera are career dead weights.
    Smith, in the small sample, is not dead weight but will have to duplicate 2019 with less at bats.
    The other OF should Cespedes who should top Frazier’s 2019 production and not be dead weight. A healthy enough Cespedes and a steady Smith will give the Mets at least good pinch hitters off the bench. An average year from Marisnick is unlikely but is needed.

  • MattyMets

    Among the OFs, Gomez and Rajai at least gave us a few heroic moments. Altherr was truly awful and I couldn’t understand why he had such a long leash.

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