Actually there are more than three, and there are some like Carlos Carrasco who has probably already broken through the ice. But in this article we are not going to worry about the myriad of relievers and 4A types of position players, we will focus on three players who are established major leaguers and whose future with the Mets is cloudy.
Starling Marte was an important cog in the successful 101 win 2022 season for the Mets, but he has basically been an injury-plagued bust this year, who has only played in 86 games. He assembled a slash line of .248/.301/.324, providing little power from a position that demands it. He does not hit that well in the clutch either with a BA RISP of .225. If you want a sliver lining, he can still steal bases with 24 swipes this year, decent even considering the new rules that favor base stealers.
Marte’s defense has fallen off in recent years, and he posted a negative 8 DRS figure this year for his outfield play. Marte turns 35 next month, and unfortunately is signed through the 2025 season as part of a four year, 78 million dollar contract.
Too make it worse for Marte’s prospects, D. J. Stewart is playing quite well in right field, especially providing much-needed power, with an impressive .632 SLG figure for the Mets so far this year. And perhaps not far from making the big leagues is Drew Gilbert, knocking the the cover off the ball in the minors with a .315/.408/.537 slash line at double A Binghamton. Management for the Mets has shown they are willing to eat contract money if necessary, and if Marte starts off 2024 slowly, that thin ice might not hold him and he could be out of here.
Luis Guillorme has been a useful utility infielder for the Mets since 2018. He has the valuable skill of being able to play 2b, short and 3b well. In his career he has shown good ability to get on base, but without much power. However this season his OBP is only .304, and his strikeout rate is 24.6%, He too has been affected by injuries, including a calf problem that has kept him on the injured list of late. He still comes up with highlight reel type defensive plays in the infield now and then, but his DRS figure for this year is at -1.
Guillorme is under team control until 2026, at an affordable rate. However the one factor that has been in Guillorme’s favor in recent years has been his ability to play shortstop, with no one else on the team being a credible answer at short if starter Francisco Lindor is injured or needs rest. That has changed this year, rookie Ronny Mauricio has been batting over .300 for the Mets and he has mostly played short in the minors. Also one of the Mets top prospects is shortstop Jett Williams who has been a force with a .299/.451/.567 slashline at high A Brooklyn and he will now be ending the season playing for Binghamton.
Jef McNeil of course is also in the mix, he is likely to follow his pattern of shuttling between second base and corner outfield next year. The result is Guillorme just might be caught in a numbers crunch with potentially a glut of infielders for the Mets next year. Guillorme certainly would have at least some value is a trade candidate, perhaps for a relief pitcher or a middling prospect.
Omar Narvaez was added in the most recent off-season to bolster the catching corps. At one time he was a decent offensive catcher, but he was bad for Milwaukee last year and has been even worse for the Mets this season. He is slashing .192/.272/.253, truly dreadful production. In RISP situations he is only hitting .111. He is a bit below average defensively at well with a -2 DRS figure this year, and he is on the wrong side of 30 with an age 32 season looming for him in 2024.
High-upside rookie Francisco Alvarez has had some struggles as the first string catcher for the Mets, but his future remains bright. The Mets do have Kevin Parada, a 2022 first-round selection, playing in the minors. But the biggest threat to Narvaez as backup backstop in the short run is former Met catcher Tomas Nido, who was sent to the minors after a horrific start to this season. However, there was a distinct reason for his poor performance, namely an eye condition that developed out of LASIK eye surgery he had undergone. A corrective procedure was done, and Nido is batting .282/.338/.397 at Syracuse. He is younger than Narvaez and in 2022 he was a finalist for the NL Gold Glove catcher award.
All three of the players mentioned as being on thin ice had better work for a rebound by early next season, or they could be shipped elsewhere.