Mets 26-man roster prediction 1.0 for 2021 MLB season

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Danny Abriano
·4 min read
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David Peterson, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Dom Smith TREATED ART
David Peterson, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Dom Smith TREATED ART

The Mets have had a tremendous offseason, highlighted by a blockbuster trade for Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.

But with spring training around the corner, the 26-man roster for the 2021 season is still coming into focus.

The Mets still have needs in center field, the starting rotation, at third base, and in the bullpen, with more big acquisitions perhaps just as likely as more depth pieces.

Here is our 26-man roster prediction 1.0...

REGULAR LINEUP

James McCann, C
Pete Alonso, 1B
Jeff McNeil, 2B
Francisco Lindor, SS
J.D. Davis, 3B
Brandon Nimmo, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Michael Conforto, RF
Dominic Smith, DH

Our prediction in the wake of the trade for Lindor and Carrasco was that Jackie Bradley Jr. would be signed to play center field, which would allow the Mets to slide Brandon Nimmo to left.

Bradley is still a free agent and our prediction remains that he'll be signed by the Mets.

The elephant in the room right now is the league and union's failure to agree on the universal DH for 2021, which is one of the things that has impacted Bradley's market. That uncertainty is real, but it is still hard to believe an agreement on the DH for 2021 won't be reached in the coming weeks.

When it comes to third base, the Mets' discussions with the Cubs for Kris Bryant hammer home that team president Sandy Alderson would like to find a replacement for the defensively-challenged J.D. Davis. Alderson said earlier this offseason that Davis was the third baseman "for now."

But while a change at third base is possible, we'll predict it happens after Opening Day.

STARTING ROTATION

Jacob deGrom, RHP
Carlos Carrasco, RHP
Marcus Stroman, RHP
Jake Odorizzi, RHP
David Peterson, LHP

With Steven Matz traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, the Mets' rotation right now would likely include both David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi.

But the Mets are still on the hunt for rotation help, per SNY's Andy Martino.

James Paxton -- whom the Mets had interest in -- recently reached a deal to sign with the Seattle Mariners, leaving Taijuan Walker and Jake Odorizzi as the only two legitimate options left on the free agent market.

The Mets were connected to Odorizzi earlier this offseason before they traded for Carlos Carrasco. And with Matz now gone and other options off the board, it's time for New York to circle back on Odorizzi and land him -- perhaps on a two-year deal.

Lucchesi -- who has minor league options remaining -- can be in Triple-A as rotation insurance.

Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard is on track as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery and could rejoin the rotation by June.

BULLPEN

Edwin Diaz, CLS
Trevor May, RHP
Justin Wilson, RHP
Jeurys Familia RHP
Aaron Loup, LHP
Robert Gsellman RHP
Miguel Castro, RHP

The Mets nearly had Brad Hand on board but lost out on him due in part to his desire to close.

Without Hand, the Mets added lefty Aaron Loup and we'll predict that they'll reunite with Justin Wilson -- something that seems even more wise now that Seth Lugo will miss the early part of the season due to minor elbow surgery.

Gone from the bullpen will be Dellin Betances, with our prediction being that the Mets will find a taker for the one year and $6 million remaining on his contract.

Among the options just missing the cut for a spot in the bullpen on Opening Day will be Jacob Barnes, Sam McWilliams, and Drew Smith.

BENCH

Jonathan Villar, INF/OF
Jose Martinez, 1B/OF
Albert Almora Jr, OF
Tomas Nido, C
Luis Guillorme, INF

The Mets have done a good job this offseason adding quality depth pieces, which is the main reason why their bench appears to be pretty much set.

Almora will be the backup center fielder and Nido will be the backup catcher.

Villar, whose speed makes him perfect as the main pinch-runner, can fill in at third base and second base (and play the outfield in an emergency).

Martinez can play both corner outfield and first base, while Guillorme will serve as the defensive specialist on the infield.