Most of the Mets’ major personal decisions have been made as pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report in a few weeks, but one remains: who is playing third base?
New President of Baseball Operations David Stearns previously stated during the winter meetings that the position would be filled by a player already in the organization.
However, that plan had a wrench put in back at the beginning of December.
While attempting to steal second base during a Dominican Winter League game, top prospect and likely starting third baseman Ronny Mauricio stopped himself in his tracks before limping off the field.
A few days later, it was confirmed that Mauricio suffered a torn ACL and would be out for at least the first half of 2024 if not the whole season.
The blue and orange have since been pursuing a reunion with Justin Turner, but the Toronto Blue Jays swopped in, inking the 39-year-old to a one-year $13 million deal on Tuesday.
With Turner no longer available and nobody internally standing out, could the Mets pivot to the top remaining third baseman on the market?
Could the Mets sign Matt Chapman?
This may seem an unlikely pairing, especially with Matt Chapman looking for a multi-year contract and the Mets undergoing a youth movement, but a one-year deal could be favorable for both sides.
Chapman is coming off a 7.1 WAR 2023 campaign, where he played in 140 games, slashing .240/.330/.424 with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs while winning his fourth career Gold Glove.
Chapman has yet to get the money he desired on the open market and could benefit from a one-year contract where he improves his offensive numbers while still being an elite defender.
For the Mets, a one-year contract with Chapman would allow them to compete in 2024 while still giving Mauricio a fair shot to win the job in 2025 Spring Training.
In addition, the one-year contract would allow the Mets to ship him off at the trade deadline if the season was going nowhere.
While Chapman likely won’t settle for a one-year deal, if he is considering one, the Mets should consider signing the California native.