Will the New York Mets look to cut costs with this lineup?

With the New York Mets 2020 season now over, we wanted to give an update about where we see the Mets headed, going into the off season.

Check out our way too early lineup here: Our way too early 2022 New York Mets lineup

Now, for our latest 2022 New York Mets projections:

1) Nimmo CF (L)

2) Lindor SS (S)

3) Alonso DH (R)

4) cano 3B (L)

5) Baez 2B (R)

6) McNeil LF (L)

7) McCann/Nido C (R)

8) Smith 1B (L)

9) Lee RF (L)

Our previous lineup was more wishful thinking. This lineup, I think, mirrors what has been said publicly by the Mets, by the front office and during the broadcasts.

Conforto is probably gone. Mets extend him the qualifying offer, and he turns it down. I think the Mets invest in their pitching, signing Stroman and Noah, to add to a solid rotation with deGrom, Carrasco, Walker, with Peterson and Megill all in the mix.

I don’t think the Mets are going after Nick Castellanos or Kris Bryant. Even though both make a ton of sense.

The Mets will sign Javier Baez for second base, pairing him with his good pal Fransisco Lindor.

Reports have said the Mets have asked Cano to play 3B in winter ball. It will be interesting to see if he takes there. If he does, he could get first shot at third this come spring. This based on his contract alone.

The Mets are also sending third base prospects Brett Baty to the Arizona fall league. If Cano can hit but can’t field, he could move to DH, opening up third for Baty (or Vientos or Mauricio).

Dom Smith’s future with the Mets could lay on if Cano can actually play third. With Cano at third, Pete Alonso could DH, giving Smith a chance at first base.
Dom Smith could even be traded this offseason. Pete has been solid at first this season (+5 DRS, last I check), and proved he can play there ever day. Smith didn’t really show much in this season with the bat.

The Mets could deal Smith in a trade similar to the one that brought JD Davis to the Mets.
The trading team gets Smith, and the Mets get three to five 17-19 year old prospects.

I think the front office will look at the contracts of Cano, Lindor and Baez, and see the deGrom opt out looming, and look to cut costs where they can.

So that means McNeil in left field and rookie Khalil Lee for right field, after Michael Conforto leaves via free agency.
This could work out if McNeil rebounds and has another successful (3.5 WAR and up) season, and if Lee proves he’s at least an average everyday player.

I personally think Castellanos and Bryant would add that element of professionalism and leadership the Mets clearly lacked in 2021.

It seems the Mets are looking to invest this offseason more in pitching, and they will use that spending to justify this lineup.

The Mets certainly need to sure up both the starting staff, and the bullpen, while having resources left to cover injuries.

But the New York Mets still need to add to their offense- one of the worst in the league in 2021. If the Mets out this lineup out to start 2022, it could mean another long and disappointing season for Mets fans.