Signing Jed Lowrie to a two-year, $20 million deal did more than add depth to the Mets' infield. It created a log jam that could impact top prospect Peter Alonso.
While Alonso has repeatedly said he wanted to be the Mets' Opening Day first baseman and GM Brodie Van Wagenen wouldn't rule out the possibility that the 24-year-old Alonso could make the major-league roster out of spring training, signing Lowrie means it's not a deal breaker if Alonso starts the season in the minors.
That's part of the sacrifice the Mets may have to make. Given MLB's service time rules, the Mets could benefit with Alonso starting the season at the Triple-A level by getting another year of team control.
"That's over, I would say," former Mets and Braves executive Adam Fisher said about Alonso's chances of making the Mets' Opening Day roster. "There's just not room."
That would also mean Alonso, who hit .285/.395/.579 with 36 home runs and 119 RBIs with Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Las Vegas last season, would need to wait to make his MLB debut.
The Mets, according to SNY.tv's Andy Martino, view Lowrie, a 34-year-old infielder who hit .267/.353/.448 with 23 home runs and 99 RBIs last year, as an "everyday-quality player who will serve in a super-utility role."
He has spent most of his career at second base, where Robinson Cano occupies. The Mets have Amed Rosario at shortstop and Todd Frazier at third base. And there's also Jeff McNeil, who will see time in the outfield, according to Martino, and J.D. Davis on the roster.
All that depth indicates putting Alonso on the Opening Day roster isn't a necessity, however it doesn't mean Alonso won't get his opportunity at some point in 2019.
"Peter Alonso will be on the roster," Fisher said, "whether it's 20 days, a month, two months, whatever. But you've got way more coverage than you need to need him on the team and not get that extra year of [team] control."