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Carlos Mendoza embracing fluidity of Mets’ 3B/DH situation, even if an addition is made

The Mets have made a lot of roster moves this offseason but their everyday lineup continues to be a question mark just weeks before pitchers and catchers report.

Last season, the Mets’ offense was decimated by injury and underperformance to the point that a lot of kids like Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, Francisco Alvarez and others were asked to pick up the slack on an everyday basis.

So far, that doesn’t seem to be changing.

The Mets’ third base and designated hitter spots are up in the air with no clear everyday starter. It was one of the many needs for the Mets this offseason, but new president of baseball operations David Stearns said recently it wasn’t “essential” for the team to address it.

With that said, first-year manager Carlos Mendoza is prepared to enter the 2024 season with the players they currently have on the roster, especially at third base. Whether that’s Baty, Vientos or newly acquired utility man Joey Wendle, Mendoza and the Mets are pleased with their options.

“We have really good options,” Mendoza told SNY’s Andy Martino while at the Mets DR Academy. “Baty is one of them. Vientos, Wendle. We’re going in saying, ‘Let’s see what we got.’

"We know what they are capable of. They are working hard this offseason, a couple of them have been working with Francisco [Lindor] before we get to spring training. We’re excited to have good options. We’ll see what happens.”

While the Mets have plenty of internal options for the hot corner, the same can't necessarily be said about the team's designated hitter. After parting ways with Daniel Vogelbach, the current options for the Mets are seemingly Vientos and returning veteran DJ Stewart.

Both players could potentially thrive in an everyday DH role, but Mendoza is open to managing the position in a couple of different ways, even if the Mets make a signing.

“We’ll see how everything unfolds in the offseason. We’re not done yet,” Mendoza said of the DH situation to Martino. “This is a conversation that we’re having and continue to have…. The flexibility to keep it open for some of the guys that are going to play every day is important, but who knows what’s going to happen between now and when we report to Port St. Lucie, and between now and when we get to March 28 (Opening Day). We’re still a few weeks away and a lot can happen.”

This free agency period has been a slow one in terms of signings. Aside from the big names like Shohei Ohtani and Yoshibou Yamamoto going to Los Angeles, not many big-name, free-agent hitters have signed.

Names like J.D. Martinez, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger remain available to be signed, and whether the Mets pounce on any of them could come down to how the market shakes out. As Mendoza points out, the market is continuously changing and options eventually become available, even those that were once thought unobtainable.

We're still a month out from spring training and the current Mets roster is certainly not set as of mid-January. Even if it is, Mendoza is prepared to try and get the most out of both question marks in his lineup.