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New York Mets: 1 trade, 1 signing and 1 prospect to win the World Series

Fansided 2/7/2023 Kevin Henry
© Provided by Fansided

The New York Mets enter the 2023 season as one of the favorites to win the World Series. With an already stacked roster, could these three additions make those odds even stronger?

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has not been afraid to open his wallet this offseason, bringing new faces such as Justin Verlander and Kodai Senga to Queens while retaining key pieces from last year's roster such as Edwin Díaz and Brandon Nimmo.

However, with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies lurking in their own division, as well as NL powers such as the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego Padres expected to make noise in the postseason, how could the Mets improve the roster even more? Let's look at three players who could make a big difference in 2023.

Mets rumors: Trade for Max Kepler

Daniel Vogelbach is expected to slot into the lineup as the designated hitter again this season, but bringing in someone like Kepler could not only give the Mets options at that position, but also help in right field as well. Kepler could serve as a platoon piece, something like what is expected of Tommy Pham after the Mets recently inked him to a deal. Pham brings an option from the right side of the plate, while Kepler would bring in another left-handed bat.

With the 29-year-old Kepler in the final year of his deal, the Mets could land him in a trade, then see if they want him to be a part of their fabric moving forward. With Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Pham all in their age-34 season, Kepler could also bring some younger legs to the outfield when needed.

Mets rumors: Sign Andrew Chafin

Take a look at the projected bullpen makeup for the Mets in 2023 (via FanGraphs) and you will notice that there is only one left-handed option among the relievers. By signing veteran reliever Andrew Chafin, the Mets could not only add another southpaw into the mix, but also bring a bit of postseason experience and another late-inning option as well.

Over the last two seasons, the 32-year-old Chafin has thrown a combined 86.2 innings and has posted an ERA of 2.29, FIP of 3.02, a 176 ERA+, a 3.02 FIP, and 94 strikeouts against 26 walks. Opponents hit .186 against him in 2021 and .222 in 2022, so there's plenty of reason to think his recent success could continue with whatever team signs him.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) has reported that the Mets would like to add a left-hander to the bullpen, but bringing in someone like Chafin who can't be optioned to the minors creates a logjam of veteran relievers who must be kept on the MLB roster. Still, if he is the best answer to an issue in the bullpen, one has to believe that Cohen and his crew will figure out a way to make it all work and give the Mets the best chance of winning the game, including in the late innings.

Mets rumors: Brett Baty is a prospect to watch

Baty, ranked as the second-best prospect in the Mets organization behind catcher Francisco Álvarez, got a taste of the big leagues last season, getting in 38 at-bats in August and slashing .184/.244/.342 with a pair of homers and five runs driven in. He also had a little bit of a scare this offseason when it looked like the Mets were going to sign Carlos Correa, a move that would have ensured the 23-year-old would be getting little time at third base in Queens in the near future.

However, when the Correa deal fell through, it almost made Baty even more important for the Mets and their success in 2023 and beyond. Eduardo Escobar (barring injury) will be the team's Opening Day starter at third base, but how much he rebounds from a down year in 2022 will determine just how much of a chance Baty gets to show his skills on the MLB diamond.

Baty slashed .315/.410/.533 split between Double-A and Triple-A last season, with just six games coming in Triple-A Syracuse. For that reason alone, Baty may well start the season in Triple-A, but it's expected his time there won't be long.

It's been reported that higher-ups within the Mets organization (including manager Buck Showalter) are expecting Escobar to rebound this season after dealing with "family issues" off the field in 2022. How much of a rebound there is could well determine Baty's timeline to make an impact in Queens at the hot corner. However, whenever he returns to the big leagues, all eyes will be on Baty, widely considered the future of the franchise at the position.

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