5 free agent infielders Mets should have high on their wish list for 2022-23 offseason during 2022-23 offseason

Carlos Correa Trea Turner Mets treated art November 2022
Carlos Correa Trea Turner Mets treated art November 2022

As things currently stand, the Mets are on firm footing on the infield heading into the 2022-23 offseason.

Pete Alonso is the first baseman and Francisco Lindor is the shortstop, and it's close to impossible to see anything changing that -- nor should it, since both players are coming off tremendous seasons and are the core of the offense.

Jeff McNeil, who started 95 games at second base last season, could be there regularly in 2023. But given the uncertainty in the Mets' outfield with Brandon Nimmo set for free agency, McNeil could also slide to the outfield on a more regular basis

Then there's third base, where Eduardo Escobar (a free agent after 2023) could be a good option to get the bulk of the at-bats against left-handed pitching. But it's unknown how ready the Mets are to give the reins to Brett Baty, who would be a strong option against right-handers. As far as Luis Guillorme, he is better suited as a bench player.

So while the Mets are set at first and short, if you squint just a little bit, you can see potential openings at second base and third base.

And a team like the Mets, smack in the middle of a championship window and with an owner who will likely spend big again this offseason, should not be ruling anything out. That means they should be willing to get creative positionally if it results in adding an impact player.

Here are five external infielders who should be high on their wish list...

TREA TURNER

Of the top infielders on the market, you can make a case for a handful of them being the best option. But I'll continue to beat the drum for Turner, a truly dynamic offensive player.

Turner, who is entering his age-30 season, hit .298/.343/.466 with 21 homers, 39 doubles, four triples, 100 RBI, and 100 runs scored in 2022 for the Los Angeles Dodgers while playing 160 games.

Trea Turner
Trea Turner

Of course, in order for Turner to be an option for the Mets, he would have to be willing to switch to second base full-time -- and he has some experience there, having played second regularly for the Dodgers in 2021 when Corey Seager was still at shortstop.

There's also the question of how many years Turner will get. Since he's about to turn 30, perhaps that means he'll get a hefty deal for seven years or so. But if the bidding for him goes to the nine-year range or above, you can cross him off the list.

CARLOS CORREA

Like Turner, Correa -- who is expected to opt out of the final two years and $70.2 million left on his deal with the Minnesota Twins -- would have to switch from shortstop in order to join the Mets. But unlike Turner, Correa has only ever played shortstop.

There's also the fact that Correa, entering his age-28 season, might get a deal for nine or 10 years. And with Lindor already under contract through 2031 at roughly $34 million per season, the Mets' appetite for another deal of that length is probably small.

But the Mets should still explore the market for Correa, who is a true difference-maker on both sides of the ball and is one season removed from finishing in the top five in MVP voting.

One concern with Correa is his health, but he's been very reliable over the last two seasons, during which he's played 284 combined games.

Jun 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) throws out a Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park.
Jun 2, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) throws out a Houston Astros in the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park.

XANDER BOGAERTS

It feels like Bogaerts doesn't get talked about enough, which is crazy when you consider that he's a .292/.356/.458 hitter during his 10-year career that has been spent entirely with the Boston Red Sox.

Bogaerts had a relatively down-year power-wise in 2022, slugging .456 and hitting 15 homers, but in his previous four seasons, he slugged .522, .555, .502, and .493, respectively.

As is the case with Correa, and to a lesser extent Turner, no one should expect the Mets to sign Bogaerts, who is expected to opt out of the final three years of his deal with the Red Sox that's worth $60 million. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't explore it, and the position change it would require.

And if the Mets lose Jacob deGrom and don't replace him with another ace-level pitcher, they're going to have tons of extra money to spread around. Why not use it on a franchise-altering player?

DANSBY SWANSON

Now we're getting into wildly unlikely territory, but why the hell not?

Swanson is a native of Georgia who has become a star while playing for the Atlanta Braves. But the Braves let Freddie Freeman walk last offseason while replacing him with a younger, less expensive player. So who's to say they won't let Swanson go, too?

Francisco Lindor watches Dansby Swanson round bases in Atlanta
Francisco Lindor watches Dansby Swanson round bases in Atlanta

Swanson isn't at the level of Turner, Correa, or Bogaerts, and he strikes out a ton. But Swanson has become a very good player over the last three seasons, slashing .265/.324/.451 with 62 homers and 80 doubles in 382 games.

Like the three players above, Swanson would have to slide off shortstop to play for the Mets. But there are two problems with that. The first is that he has only ever played shortstop defensively, and the second is that he's an even more gifted fielder at short than Lindor.

JUSTIN TURNER

Nothing against Turner, but he is not at the level of the four players above him on this list as he enters his age-38 season.

And a Turner-Mets reunion would only be a worthy discussion in a world where they aren't ready to rely on Baty or execute a trade that ships Escobar out of town. So this is not likely.

But ... as a one-year stop gap, Turner -- who hit .278/.350/.438 in 128 games this season for the Dodgers -- would not be a bad fit at third base.

For his part, Turner -- whom the Dodgers hold a club option on -- is seemingly open to the idea.