The Mets have plenty of internal options when it comes to finding a starting third baseman.
Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis and Jed Lowrie are all capable of handling the position, so it's quite possible Brodie Van Wagenen looks to add an outfielder instead, knowing McNeil can play in either spot.
The other play this offseason is to go heavy at third base options and put McNeil in the outfield, who looked comfortable and played well in left field this past season. I still think he's a second baseman, but that's a different subject for a different day...
In the event Van Wagenen looks to spend money on a new third baseman, he should be looking at the following five free agents, some of which are far more realistic than others...
MLB insiders predict Donaldson, 34, will see multiple three-year, $70-80 million offers from a variety of teams. It would be great to see the Mets among them, but there is so far no evidence of their interest.
That said, more than any potential addition to the rotation or bullpen, Donaldson would be the biggest bang for Van Wagenen's buck this winter. In addition to providing a major upgrade and credibility at the plate, Donaldson is the best way for the team to improve their fielding at third base.
FanGraphs' Steamer projections have Donaldson producing another 4.5 WAR season in 2020. These numbers behind Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto has to pique Van Wagenen's interest.
Gregorius, 29, has spent 95 percent of his big-league career playing shortstop. His other time on field has been spent at second base and a few games at third. It's a similar story for him in the minor leagues.
However, at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds and entering his thirties, there's talk that -- like Alex Rodriguez and countless others their size -- he may eventually be encouraged to move to third base. He could do it, too, as he's right handed and his range and cannon arm would play well at the hot corner.
If he's marketing himself as a strict shortstop, he may find a fit with only the Brewers and Reds. Otherwise, to get the most money possible, he'd be wise to consider pulling a Manny Machado and making that move to third sooner than later.
If he's open to third base, Van Wagenen should have interest if for no other reason than Gregorius is a more NL-style player than AL, and he's experienced and seemingly fine with playing in New York.
Also, in addition to being a strong fielder, he runs the bases well and is good for at least 50 extra-base hits when playing a full season, all of which work well in Citi Field.
Again, though, adding Gregorius to what will need to be a three-year, $45 million deal is 100 percent predicated on his willingness to play third base...
Yep, I'm including Frazier. I know, I know: been there, done that. But he actually ended with a strong season in 2019. Also, he knows the role, market, expectations, fans, reporters, and he's respected and welcomed by his teammates.
He also had a better-than-expected year in the field. And, while he didn't put the ball in play very much, he's a reliable and known option for the little amount of money he'll need to be paid.
This is literally the third time in three offseasons that I'm writing about Moustakas being a possible answer at third base for the Mets. It never happens, they never have interest, and yet here we are again.
He inked back to back one-year deals, but this time around seems set up for more...
He struggled toward the end of last season, which he has said was a direct result of a wrist injury he'd been battling the entire spring and summer.
MLB insiders are split on his next contract, with some going two years and $30 million, while others are saying three years and close to $40 million. The money seems about right given that FanGraphs has him projected to hit around 30 home runs and put up another 2.5 WAR.
This would be a nice addition to Van Wagenen's roster, but I suspect he'll conclude those dollars are better spent in the outfield, rotation, or bullpen since the team has McNeil.
I'm dreaming, I know. But, he's available, awesome and has to be mentioned.
The best way to arm up first-time manager Carlos Beltrán would be to sign the best possible free agent option at a position in need of being upgraded. He's also a terrific fielder and having him between Conforto and Alonso is, well, umm, it's... frankly, there are no words for it!!!
Of course, it'll take a seven-year, $200 million to get it done, which is something the Mets haven't done since -- oddly enough -- signing Beltran as a player in 2005 when then-manager Willie Randolph (like Beltran now) was entering his first job as skipper.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is a senior writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. His book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime.