This is very early and premature. Free agents will (or won’t) be signed. Trades may (or may not) be made. But how do I think the 2014 Mets will look on opening day?
1B – Josh Satin – Maybe I’m just playing favorites here. It’s no secret I like him as a hitter and I want to give him a chance. A real chance. I think Ike is going to get non-tendered. Lucas Duda may also get non-tendered depending on his arbitration eligibility status. With that caveat, we may see a Satin/Duda platoon to start the season if Duda isn’t due for a raise. Satin will come cheap, can get on base, and keep monies free to be used elsewhere.
2B – Daniel Murphy – I’ll say that for now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded as part of a package in the offseason. Sandy is a big OBP guy, and Murphy’s left a bit to be desired. His trade value has also never been higher, having showed improved defense, durability, doubles power, base stealing ability, and double digit home run power. Stay or go, Murphy’s due for a nice pay raise this offseason.
SS – Ruben Tejada – I’m saying Ruben not because I think he’ll finish the season as the starting shortstop. I’m saying Ruben because I don’t think at this time they’re going to make a splash in the trade market for a big time before opening day. If the team comes out hot out of the gate and look like they’re going to be in contention for real in 2014, Tejada would be an odd man out from a starting standpoint. If the team’s not in contention and he gets off to a slow start, he’s destined for a utility middle infielder role.
3B – David Wright. Duh.
LF – Eric Young. I’ll use the Ruben scenario here. Eric’s a great guy, a role model, and someone I really want to see succeed. He just needs to pick up the batting average and OBP. If he can raise that up just 20 more points – he’ll make a fortune and with his speed, he’ll be even more deadly. And he’s a pretty good fielder, too.
CF – Juan Lagares. This is with the caveat that I can see Juan traded. The man can flat out field. He’s outstanding with the glove. His hitting will also come around, in my opinion. He hit at prior levels and that usually translates to the major leagues. He just needs to get some seasoning at the plate in the majors. With his upside, he can be good trade bait to bring in a big bat. But I wouldn’t let him stand in the way of a trade to bring in someone like Carlos Gonzalez or Mike Stanton.
RF – Carlos Beltran. He’s a free agent. If the Cardinals don’t bring him back, I can see him coming back for a reunion with the Mets on a two year deal. He still has something left in the tank. He can hit. He can handle the city and he has some pop.
C – Travis d’Arnaud. He’ll be the starting catcher.
The lineup may not look a lot different from the way it did a couple of days ago. This is true. But like most teams that make the playoffs, the roster come September looks different from the roster in April. If they’re in contention, these starting eight will not be the starting eight after the trade deadline.