The New York Mets were quite busy on the free agent market prior to the lockout. They acquired Max Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Edwardo Escobar in the pre-lockout free agent frenzy. Fans are rightfully excited for the revamped roster for the 2022 season, but with all of that talent, how will they have a spot for everyone? Luckily for the Mets, even though the economic negotiations between the players and owner seem to be at a standstill, the universal designated hitter has already been agreed upon. So, who will new manager Buck Showalter pencil in at DH everyday?
Dominic Smith or J.D. Davis
The first players who come to mind when you think of the Mets and DH are probably Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis. Smith was forced to play left field for most of the 2021 season because first base, his natural position, was occupied by Pete Alonso. Although he had a very poor 2021, Smith could very well bounce back to his level of hitting in 2019 and 2020. He’s a defensive liability in the outfield, but so as long as he hits, it’s the perfect spot for him.
J.D. Davis has posted an impressive 128 ops+ across three seasons with Mets. They definitely want his bat in the lineup, but he is a very poor defensive third baseman. With the signing of Edwardo Escobar, Davis may be a better fit at DH.
Different Mets DH everyday
Fans of teams in the American League have known the value of using the DH to give players a bit of a rest while not having to take them out of the lineup. Furthermore, the Mets, with all their new additions, have a surplus of talent in both the infield and outfield. They also have some good hitters that they certainly want in the lineup each day but are not strong defenders like the aforementioned Smith and Davis. Using the DH in this fashion, instead of having a set DH, could be instrumental to the Mets’ success.
Owner Steve Cohen has certainly shown that he is not afraid to spend big. With their pre-lockout splurge, the Mets currently have the highest estimated payroll in Major League Baseball, sitting at a whopping $263 million. So why not just spend some more? Kyle Schwarber, or Nelson Cruz would be a great DH’s if you aren’t sold on a Smith bounce-back season happening. Or you could get even crazier and pry Freddie Freeman away from Atlanta (Cohen definitely has the money to do it) and have Alonso be the full-time DH.
The DH is sure to give the Mets much more roster flexibility. Of course, every National League team will surely be looking to take advantage of the DH. It allows teams to match up better against the opposing starting pitcher while not sacrificing anything on defense. Thanks to the Mets depth, Showalter will have a ton of flexibility when making the lineup. At the end of the day, the Mets can take the DH position in any direction they want.