Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets are well-positioned to contend in 2020 and beyond, with a young core of high-upside offensive players and a starting rotation built around the best pitcher in baseball.
In 2021, though, things get interesting with Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, and Steven Matz among the expected free agents and the expectation that a new ownership group will already be in place and looking to put their stamp on the franchise.
Meanwhile, New York also did a solid job building their farm system back up to a middle of the pack one that has a handful of legitimate blue chip pieces at the top that should be ready around 2022-23.
With all of the above in mind, let's hop in the time machine and travel three years in the future to take a look at the Mets' 2023 26-man roster...
Catcher: Francisco Alvarez
Alvarez profiles as a true impact catcher on both sides of the ball, and is already a consensus top-100 prospect in MLB after bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old in 2019.
First Base: Pete Alonso
Of all the predictions here, this was the easiest one. Barring something totally crazy happening, Alonso -- under team control through 2024 -- will be at first base in 2023. And it would behoove the Mets to try to extend him beyond 2024 sooner rather than later.
Second Base: Jeff McNeil
McNeil shifts over to second base after the 2020 season, with the Mets trading Robinson Cano to an American League team where he can DH and eating some money in the process.
Shortstop: Ronny Mauricio
Mauricio, viewed by many as the Mets' top prospect, comes up to start the 2022 season, with Amed Rosario moving to center field after spending the 2021-22 offseason and all of 2022 spring training preparing for the move.
Third Base: Nolan Arenado
Acquired via trade from the Rockies after the 2020 season for prospects Brett Baty, Andres Gimenez, and Junior Santos, Arenado is the first big fish brought in by the Mets' new ownership group.
Aside from this trade, the Mets are much more careful going forward when it comes to parting with prospects, leading to their 2023 roster being filled with homegrown talent.
Left Field: Trevor Larnach
Acquired via trade from the Twins after the 2020 season for J.D. Davis, who becomes the Twins' new DH with Nelson Cruz on his way out.
Larnach debuts in 2021, playing left field -- with Brandon Nimmo in center field and Michael Conforto in right field.
2021 is Nimmo's last season with the Mets, with him getting traded for prospects after the season.
Center Field: Amed Rosario
There was some buzz during the 2019 season about Rosario moving to center field, and it happens for the 2022 season -- with Ronny Mauricio taking over at shortstop. Rosario is flanked by Larnach in left and Conforto in right in 2022 and beyond.
Right Field: Michael Conforto
Getting Conforto signed to an extension won't be easy, but the Mets will get it done after the 2020 season -- locking in their most important outfield cog on a deal that runs through 2024.
1. Jacob deGrom
DeGrom has an opt-out after the 2022 season, but it won't come to that, with the Mets tacking an extra two years onto his deal -- making deGrom a Met through 2026.
2. Jose Berrios
With Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz gone via free agency after the 2021 season, the Mets will ink the then-29-year-old Twins ace to a six-year deal when he hits free agency after the 2022 season.
3. Matthew Allan
Allan, viewed as the best pitching prospect in the Mets' organization, has true No. 2 starter upside, which makes it even better that he slots in as the Mets' No. 3 in 2023 behind deGrom and Berrios.
4. Josh Wolf
Wolf, drafted in the second round of the 2019 MLB Draft, is another power arm with loads of potential. Even if he doesn't reach his ceiling, he should be a rotation staple.
5. David Peterson
Peterson will make his debut late during the shortened 2020 season and become a reliable innings-eater for the Mets.
Closer: Edwin Diaz
Diaz is primed for a bounceback, and after he dominates in 2020, the Mets will lock him up with a pre-arbitration extension that gets him under team control through 2024.
Setup: Keone Kela
The Mets will sign Kela to a three-year deal after the 2020 season and he'll become New York's top setup option. Seth Lugo will continue to excel, but will leave via free agency after the 2022 season, signing with a team that gives him the opportunity to be a starting pitcher.
RHP: Ryley Gilliam
A fast riser through the Mets' minor league system, Gilliam will become one of their most reliable bullpen arms starting in 2021.
RHP: Franklyn Kilome
Kilome, who returned from Tommy John surgery last season and still has potential as a starter, will find himself in the 'pen long term.
RHP: Jacob Wallace
The Mets will acquire Wallace after the 2020 season as part of the Nolan Arenado trade with the Rockies.
RHP: Dedniel Nunez
A live arm in the Mets' system, Nunez could potentially debut at some point in 2021.
LHP: Thomas Szapucki
Like Kilome, Szapucki has recovered from Tommy John surgery and is still working as a starter. The prediction here is that his future will be in relief.
LHP: Kevin Smith
Smith could be a back end of the rotation starter, but with the Mets' rotation pretty stacked, he'll be the perfect swingman in 2023.
Catcher: Martin Maldonado
The Mets have flirted with the idea of signing Maldonado in the past, and they'll do so after the 2022 season -- giving them a defensive-minded veteran backup.
First Base/Third Base: Mark Vientos
With Arenado blocking Vientos at third base, he will carve out a role as a power bench bat.
Infield: Luis Guillorme
Under team control through the 2025 season, the slick-fielding Guillorme is a perfect fit as the Mets' backup infielder now and in the future.
Infield/Outfield: Carlos Cortes
Another prospect, Cortes will offer the 2023 squad some offensive punch while being able to play the infield and outfield.
Outfield: Jake Mangum
Mangum's ceiling is limited, but this prospect who was drafted in 2019 could be a fast riser and offer plus speed, a solid bat, and strong defense in center field.