NEW YORK -- With Todd Frazier in tow, the Mets are unlikely to make any more major changes to their roster between now and the start of Spring Training, so it's a good time to start taking a look at who might actually be on the team come Opening Day.
NEW YORK -- With Todd Frazier in tow, the Mets are unlikely to make any more major changes to their roster between now and the start of Spring Training, so it's a good time to start taking a look at who might actually be on the team come Opening Day. As of right now, the offense appears all but set, but plenty of question marks remain on the pitching staff.
Here's a first attempt at trying to sort it all out.
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Catcher (2):Travis d'Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki
As they did down the stretch last season, d'Arnaud and Plawecki are likely to split time in an effort to keep both fresh. Although d'Arnaud remains the nominal starter, Plawecki has a real opportunity to wrest playing time away from his friend. Rookie Tomas Nido and non-roster invitee Jose Lobaton will ostensibly compete for jobs in Spring Training, but those two are almost certainly ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas.
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First base (2):Adrian Gonzalez, Wilmer Flores
It's possible Dominic Smith could force his way onto the Opening Day roster with a strong spring -- just not likely. The Mets signed Gonzalez in part to take pressure off Smith, buying him a bit more time to develop in the Minors. By season's end, Smith is likely to be the Mets' first baseman, but in April, that job will belong to Gonzalez. In either event, Flores will serve as a right-handed platoon option at first base, and he should see time at second as well.
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Second base (1): Asdrubal Cabrera
The addition of Frazier shifts Cabrera to second, a position he says he prefers to third. Assuming Cabrera can stay healthy at age 32, he'll start here most days. But Flores and Reyes will also see time at the hot corner, with Gavin Cecchini waiting in the wings should something go wrong.
Shortstop (2):Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes
As long as Rosario is healthy and producing, this is his position. Reyes could just as easily be listed at second or third base, where he will bounce around as a super utility man. The Mets have high hopes that Rosario will give them Gold Glove-caliber defense to go along with good power and elite speed on offense.
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Third base (1): Frazier
With all respect to David Wright, the Mets can no longer count on him as an active player until he proves otherwise. That's why the Mets signed Frazier, who is as good a bet as anyone in baseball to start 150-plus games at the position. In a pinch, Flores, Reyes and Cabrera are also capable of playing third.
Outfield (4):Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Lagares, Jay Bruce, Brandon Nimmo
The Mets are operating under the assumption that Michael Conforto will not be ready for Opening Day, which means Lagares is the team's starting center fielder. He'll receive every opportunity to succeed at the position, though Nimmo could eat into his playing time with a strong spring. Cespedes and Bruce, when healthy, are everyday players at the corners.
Starters (5):Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, Robert Gsellman
The first two names are locks, and two of the best pitchers in baseball to boot. The third, Harvey, must only prove there's something left in the tank to earn a spot. After that, things grow fuzzy. Matz probably has the highest ceiling of the Mets' remaining starting pitching options, but health has been a major issue for him in recent seasons. Assuming Matz makes the rotation and the Mets don't acquire another starter before Opening Day, that leaves one job for Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Chris Flexen and Rafael Montero. For now, we'll give the edge to Gsellman based on his strong September.
Bullpen (8):Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Anthony Swarzak, Paul Sewald, Hansel Robles, Montero, Matt Purke
Familia, Ramos, Blevins and Swarzak will form the core of what the Mets hope is a much-improved bullpen, with each of them potentially closing games based on matchups. Sewald and Robles are decent bets to reprise their middle relief roles. Beyond that? Take your pick. Lugo and Wheeler make plenty of sense as swingmen, but the Mets may want to keep them stretched out in the Minors -- something they can't do with Montero, who is out of Minor League options. Purke is an intriguing non-roster invitee who would give the Mets a second left-handed arm, but to make the team, he'll need to beat out Jamie Callahan, Jacob Rhame, Drew Smith and a slew of others. Consider this a good old-fashioned spring competition.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.