The Mets are expected to complete their blockbuster trade with the Mariners in the next couple of days that will send Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to New York in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista.
While there is still a lot of work to be done the rest of the offseason, the lineup already looks different than what everyone had foreseen for next season, so with that being the case, I am going to do a little lineup projecting right now.
- Brandon Nimmo RF
- Amed Rosario SS
- Michael Conforto LF
- Robinson Cano 2B
- Todd Frazier 1B
- Jeff McNeil 3B
- Kevin Plawecki C
- Juan Lagares CF
Now, I know people are going to say this lineup looks wrong and it might very well not be right, but with Peter Alonso likely to start the year in Triple-A, this is the best lineup that could be mocked up.
Frazier has first base experience that would allow him to play there and balance out the lineup until Alonso can reach the major leagues, probably no later than mid-April.
McNeil, meanwhile, would move over to the hot corner to start off his positional movement in 2019. The likelihood is that once Alonso comes up, McNeil will shift into a super-utility role that will see him play most days, but with no set position.
Currently, it appears likely the team will try to acquire a catcher and right-handed hitting outfielder to balance out the lineup a little more, possibly making this lineup a moot point even just a few weeks from now.
As of today, though, the lineup looks a lot stronger, at least in the top half, where Nimmo, Rosario, Conforto, and Cano are set to lead the charge.
My reasoning for that configuration starts off with the fact that Nimmo’s .404 OBP belongs at the top of the lineup with no questions asked. However, Rosario was successful in his time at the top of the order last season so putting him behind Nimmo and ahead of Conforto will force opposing pitchers to throw hittable pitches to the shortstop.
Conforto’s placement in the third spot has a similar reasoning as opposing pitchers will feel the need to throw decent pitches to Conforto or else they will have to face Cano, who has a lineup presence that the Mets have lacked in pretty much every game not started by Yoenis Cespedes over the last few years. Unfortunately, McNeil has to move to the sixth spot in this scenario to break up the left-handed hitters in the lineup.
Lagares and Plawecki stand as likely members of it to be removed as the former has failed to play an entire year healthy since 2014 and the latter has yet to prove himself as an everyday catching option. Both positions will likely feature names from outside the organization come Opening Day.
While many of us are somewhat appalled by the amount of talent the Mets were forced to surrender in this deal, the projected lineup, and roster for that matter, is much better today than it was before this trade.