With the offseason continuing its slow march toward the beginning of spring training, the Mets are still trying to figure out what to do with their infield. They’re considering four players as potential additions, according to Ken Rosenthal: Eduardo Nunez, Todd Frazier, Neil Walker, and Josh Harrison. All but Harrison are among the large group of players who are still free agents—even though the calendar is about to hit February.
Given the Mets’ apparent unwillingness to spend enough money to acquire more than one additional starting-caliber player at any position on the roster, the rest of the infield shapes up with Adrian Gonzalez at first base, Amed Rosario at shortstop, and Asdrubal Cabrera at either second or third—depending on who the Mets acquire, assuming they acquire anyone at all.
Nunez had his best year at the plate as a major league player last year, as he hit .313/.341/.460 with a 112 wRC+, 12 home runs, and 24 stolen bases. The defensive metrics don’t love his work anywhere, but taking DRS and UZR into consideration, his best position in recent years has been third base.
Although he’s more than capable of hitting some home runs, Frazier hasn’t been an overwhelming force with the bat lately. He hit .213/.344/.428 with a 108 wRC+ last year. He has played third base nearly exclusively in his career, and the defensive metrics rate him rather well at the position.
Walker is a familiar name to Mets fans and would surely irritate anyone who dislikes the idea that the Mets are bringing back players who were on the team recently. It’s worth pointing out that disliking that sort of acquisition solely for that reason seems a bit foolish—and that the Mets should do what is best for the team. Whether or not Walker fits the bill is debatable, but he put up another good season last year with a .265/.362/.439 line, 14 home runs, and a 114 wRC+. He’s played second base for the vast majority of his major league career, and the defensive metrics rate him okay at the keystone.
Harrison, who is still under the Pirates’ control for at least this season, has had just two seasons that ranked above average by wRC+, but one of them came last year. He hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs and a 104 wRC+. He’s been roughly a league-average hitter over the course of his career, which makes that line seem reasonable. He’s rated fairly well at second, where he has played most of the time, and third. He’s also dabbled in the corner outfield spots for the Pirates.