The Mets have a few problems looming ahead of them as they look towards the end of the 2020 season and beyond. Some of them are very bad problems, like the pitiful rotation pieces after Jacob deGrom and Seth Lugo but, some of them are good problems to have. One such “Good Problem” has been the exemplary play of Andres Gimenez in his first look at the major league level. The player, who just turned twenty two (22) on September 4th, has proven to be an elite defensive player and has looked like a professional at the plate.
As a blogger, I was down on Gimenez after his 2019 season. He had repeated AA after a strong thirty seven game audition in 2018 and saw his OPS drop by seven points. That, combined with a strong 2019 from Amed Rosario made me wonder if Gimenez might have a future on the Mets at all.
Fast forward to 2020 and the idea of trading this young player will probably fill Met fans with revulsion. He leads the team in stolen bases having twice as many as anyone else on the team and his OPS rests significantly higher than Rosario’s (though the latter is on the rise). With Gimenez already known for better defense the question has quickly become if the Mets should shift Rosario’s position or consider trading him.
The Mets lineup for 2020 offers the team the ability to play with the designated hitter and cycle their quality options around. You can have JD Davis at third base, you can split designated hitter and first base between Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith and you can spread Jeff McNeill across the field with starts in left field, third base and second base as the need arises. Even with doing all of this, now that Rosario is starting to hit, how can the Mets manage to keep both of their talented shortstops on the field except to platoon them? This “Problem” leads to a number of pressing questions as to what happens in 2021. Though the 2021 season, itself, brings up a larger issue if the National League doesn’t adopt the designated hitter position?
The bigger “Good Problem” here is that the Mets have Alonso and Smith and no way of keeping both first baseman in the lineup without the DH. While this issue is seamlessly resolved in 2020, thanks to both leagues’ use of the designated hitter position, the Mets are looking at the same issue when it comes to how to keep their two sluggers in the daily lineup.
To answer the 2021 question we need to look at the players likely to depart. Yoenis Cespedes and Marcus Stroman will both be gone, although the Mets could possibly make an offer to the latter. The Mets could opt to lose one or both of Wilson Ramos and/or Robinson Chirinos thanks to club options in favor of JT Realmuto (who is likely to be one of the biggest prizes of the offseason) but the ultimate question is “what do you do with Gimenez and Rosario and/or Alonso and Smith?”
The option of making a trade makes sense on one level. The Mets have only one season of Noah Syndergaard left and with Steven Matz looking lost, a trade for starting pitching would make sense, but only if the value were right. In terms of trade value I think the Mets are looking at Alonso having the most and, whether it is fair or not, Rosario having the least. Conversely, the Mets could look to shift one of their shortstops (Rosario makes the most sense) into the outfield where the team continues to have no “true” option in centerfield. There is not equal move to keep both Alonso and Smith on the field at the same time and shifting Smith to full time left fielder makes little sense.
Assuming that Rosario could make the transition to centerfield and use his speed and reflexes to become an elite defender is hardly a given but, the idea has to have floated through the organization by now. If the Mets were able to make that move and focus only on the catcher position and starting rotation situation their 2021 roster could look pretty exceptional. The questions posed to you, the Mets360 fans is this:
What do you do with Amed Rosario/Andres Gimenez after the 2020 season?
● Trade Rosario
● Trade Gimenez
● Move Rosario into the outfield
● Nothing, and hope for the best
What do you do with Pete Alonso/Dominic Smith after the 2020 season?
● Trade Alonso
● Trade Smith
● Pray the NL adopts the DH permanently
● Nothing, and hope for the best
● The 2020 play of Andres Gimenez has been exceptional
● The Mets need to make a decision regarding him and Amed Rosario
● There is a larger looming decision regarding Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith over the horizon