Breaking down Mets’ lineup with J.D. Martinez added to the mix

The Mets added the potential missing piece to their lineup late this week, signing veteran slugger J.D. Martinez on a cheap one-year deal.

Martinez not only gives the Mets a legitimate DH option for the first time since it was brought to the National League, but he also provides some much-needed protection behind Pete Alonso.

The 36-year-old is coming off a terrific season in which he was named to his sixth career All-Star team and recorded 27 doubles, 33 homers, 103 RBI, and a .893 OPS across 113 games with the Dodgers.

Martinez is also as clutch as it gets in the big moment, having posted a .925 OPS in his career with runners in scoring position, and he’s a .304 hitter against left-handed pitching. 

Simply, this lineup has a completely different feel to it with Martinez added in the middle of things.

The slugger will begin the year in the minors to build himself up a bit, so he won't be with the team for Thursday's Opening Day matchup with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Carlos Mendoza said they won't rush things with the 34-year-old, as no one knows his body better than him, but he'll need around two weeks to ramp up.

When he does get back in the mix, though, here's a look at the potential starting lineup...

  1. Brandon Nimmo - LF

  2. Francisco Lindor - SS

  3. Alonso - 1B

  4. Martinez - DH

  5. Jeff McNeil - 2B

  6. Francisco Alvarez - C

  7. Brett Baty - 3B

  8. Starling Marte - RF

  9. Harrison Bader - CF

Mendoza will mix and match things how he wants, but when everyone is healthy, this will be the regular starting nine each night.

J.D. Martinez
J.D. Martinez / Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports

There's no denying this lineup is much deeper with the big bat of Martinez now added in the middle of things. If Nimmo can carry over his power-hitting breakout from last season, they could potentially receive 20+ homers from five of their top six hitters.

Another big aspect of the Martinez addition is that it now allows Baty to be bumped down in the order, which may take some pressure off of him and help him slow things down at the plate.

After a disappointing first full year at the big-league level, the youngster got off to a rough start this spring, but he’s settled in nicely and has recorded three homers and a .925 OPS across 38 March at-bats.

After him, Marte is one of the big question marks remaining with this group.

If he can regain the All-Star form he showed during his first year in the Big Apple, he could be bumped up to as high as the two-hole in the order, making this lineup even more prolific.

If not, I like either him or Bader serving as a second leadoff hitter ahead of Nimmo.

Bader, of course, is more known for his stellar outfield defense, but he’s quietly been enjoying a very solid spring at the plate, recording three extra-base hits, two stolen bases, and a .860 OPS across 26 at-bats.

If he can stay healthy and carry that type of production over to the regular season, it would be a huge boost to an already strong lineup.

No matter how the first-year skipper decides to line things up, this group looks locked and loaded as they set their sights on a return to the postseason after a disappointing 2023 campaign.