Is TJ Rivera a legitimate option at 2nd for the Mets in 2017? (Updated)

By Gem Tablak

After trading away Dilson Herrera for Jay Bruce at the last minutes of the deadline, the Mets seem to have geared towards a different approach than what was told to us by Sandy Alderson after the front office told Daniel Murphy to take a hike. 

I truly believe the Mets wanted to hold on to Herrera unless the perfect deal presented itself, Sandy Alderson seemed to buckle once the original deal including Brandon Nimmo didn’t work out due to one of the Mets minor leaguers or even more, failing a physical  which caused the deal to fall through. But after its all said & done, the Mets “future 2nd baseman” is now the Reds future at the position.

Naturally with the season Walker is having, I fully expect him to turn down the 1 year $17MM qualifying offer to get himself some long term security with a multi year deal, which may come cheaper than the $17MM annually. So what happens if Walker decides to try his luck elsewhere? He might get a better offer or who knows what the case may be, but it’s not a given that he returns as the Met 2nd baseman.

The first player the team can turn to is Jose Reyes, who I think would make better sense considering how quick he is & how advantageous that would be moving around the bag in midst of a double play. There’s also Wilmer Flores. 

Now personally, while many people see him as strictly as a back up or platoon player, I think his overall numbers with at least 450 AB’s would justify itself & defensively he clearly was a better 2nd baseman than SS. However the problem with this scenario is we’d all be assuming David Wright is going to play 145 games to go along but realistically, The Mets would be lucky to get whatever they can out of him. Not only for the 2017 season but for the rest of his career. 

I would then think the Mets would be forced to move Flores &/or Reyes to 3rd which would leave 2nd base open. Now sure, they have guys like Matt Reynolds & prospect SS’s Gavin Cecchini & Amed Rosario but there are scouts that think Reynolds better profiles as a back up & utility infielder. Rosario has yet to get called up to AAA & Cecchini hasn’t even had a full season of AB’s in Las Vegas, so I just don’t believe they are ready yet. There’s also many questions surrounding Cecchini’s defense.However with Rivera, he’s only played 33 games & with 105 AB’s had 35 hits, 4 of which are doubles which puts his slash at .333/.345/.476 with a .822 OPS. While he did make a few errors in his short time, I don’t expect him to be a bad fielder throughout the rest of his career, especially at 2nd base. 3rd base isn’t called the “Hot Corner” for no reason. After all this rabble, yes, I do believe Rivera is a legitimate option at 2nd but what’s really important is what the Mets brass thinks about Rivera & considering they started him at 2nd for the Wild Card game, I think they’re starting to come around.


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