Ed Kranepool (l) and Art Shamsky (r) discuss the 1969 title team
Matt Ehalt, Staff Writer, @MattEhalt
Brodie Van Wagenen’s busy offseason continued Thursday night with the surprising development that Jed Lowrie agreed to a two-year, $20-million deal.
The Mets envision Lowrie being an everyday player who can play multiple positions, and the 2018 All-Star bolsters the team’s depth.
With Lowrie in the mix, the Mets likely have made their last significant position player acquisition of the offseason. Here’s a look at the team’s updated depth chart:
Catcher: Wilson Ramos, Travis d’Arnaud, Tomas Nido
First base: J.D. Davis, Dom Smith, Peter Alonso
Second base: Robinson Cano, Jed Lowrie, Jeff McNeil
Shortstop: Amed Rosario
Third base: Todd Frazier
Outfield: Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, Keon Broxton, Yoenis Cespedes (disabled list)
The team still could use a backup shortstop, but adding that piece would require the team to carry one less reliever next season. Lowrie, who has served as a starting shortstop in the past, could be the team’s backup shortstop.
It would appear any move that could come likely would only be a depth move, and it’s possible the Mets now have their 2019 starting lineup.
Here’s a projection of what that lineup could be on March 28:
Right fielder Brandon Nimmo
The Mets envision Nimmo holding down the leadoff spot since he has shown that he has exceptional plate discipline.
Third baseman Jed Lowrie
The early prediction here is that Peter Alonso starts the year in the minors to buy the team another year of control. Lowrie then handles third base with Todd Frazier at first.
Second baseman Robinson Cano
The Mets are planning to have Cano hit in his customary spot.
Left fielder Michael Conforto
Wilson Ramos or Michael Conforto fit in this spot, but the pick is Conforto since that would allow the speedier player to bat in front of the slower veteran.
Catcher Wilson Ramos
Ramos will be counted on to provide right-handed power in Yoenis Cespedes’ absence.
First baseman Todd Frazier
Lowrie’s signing would seem to affect Todd Frazier the most since he may have to play more first base than normal, and it’s possible Lowrie could stick at third base.
Center fielder Juan Lagares
Lagares should have the early edge in the battle for center field. It’s clear that center field is the one area the Mets could still upgrade this offseason.
Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom
Opening day should be a fun one with Jacob deGrom opposing Max Scherzer.
Shortstop Amed Rosario
It makes more sense to use Rosario in the nine hole as the potential second leadoff hitter than to bat Lagares and Rosario back to back.