Things are slowly coming together for the New York Mets, who have begun to address crucial needs that will decide whether or not they're contenders in the National League East or not.
Over the past week, they have made their two biggest moves of the offseason as they signed right fielder Jay Bruce to a three-year contract and veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to a one-year deal worth the league minimum.
There are still some pretty big needs at either second or third base along with the bullpen to go with the looming cloud that is the overall health of the team. But a new season provides new hope and with pitchers and catchers reporting in less than four weeks now, it's time for the Mets to start rounding out this roster.
Here is who we think the Mets could be rolling out on Opening Day on Mar. 31 against the St. Louis Cardinals:
2018 New York Mets projected lineup
1. Josh Harrison- 2B
Projected 2018 stats: .275 BA, 15 HR, 52 RBI, 27 SB
Harrison is looking to be traded away from the Pittsburgh Pirates after ace Gerrit Cole and outfielder Andrew McCutchen were dealt. The Mets have been in talks with the Pirates for the second baseman and a deal involving Brandon Nimmo could be what gets the Mets a legitimate, every-day second baseman.
2. Asdrubal Cabrera- 3B
Projected 2018 stats: .265 BA, 18 HR, 65 RBI
Once the team's starting shortstop, Cabrera was forced out of position upon the call up of Amed Rosario. The veteran will be looking to put a rollercoaster 2017 behind him after he requested a trade, took it back and then the Mets picked up his option. He still can provide some pop at 32 years old and will hold the position down while David Wright continues to make a seemingly insurmountable comeback from injury troubles.
3. Yoenis Cespedes- LF
Projected 2018 stats: .280 BA, 26 HR, 90 RBI
Working with a new training regimen that will try to conserve his hamstrings and legs, Cespedes might not be the 30-home-run-hitter that Mets fans expected, but he is still the most dangerous bat in the team's lineup.
4. Jay Bruce- RF
Projected 2018 stats: .248 BA, 30 HR, 88 RBI
The returning Bruce could very well lead the Mets in home runs in 2018 as he's shown an ability to hit for power in New York. In 153 games over two seasons with the Mets before he was traded to the Cleveland Indians, Bruce hist 37 home runs and knocked in 94 RBI.
5. Adrian Gonzalez- 1B
Projected 2018 stats: .270 BA, 15 HR, 53 RBI
Gonzalez is the definition of a low-risk, high-reward signing after the Mets brought him on for the league minimum. While he is likely just a placeholder for Dominic Smith once he develops into a legitimate MLB first baseman, Gonzalez is still a five-time All-Star that was one of the most feared left-handed hitters from 2006-2015. If he has something left in the tank, this could be a huge signing.
6. Juan Lagares- CF
Projected 2018 stats: .258 BA, 6 HR, 31 RBI
Lagares will be the starting fielder on Opening Day if Michael Conforto is not ready to come back after dislocating his shoulder toward the end of last season. Once he does come back, Lagares will be the team's fourth outfielder should they trade Nimmo. While his bat has struggled to come along at the major-league level, he is still one of the best defensive center fielders in baseball.
7. Travis d'Arnaud- C
Projected 2018 stats: .243 BA, 15 HR, 49 RBI
While the Mets' patience with d'Arnaud is admirable, the 28-year-old has to start making some serious strides in showing the organization that he could become the catcher — both offensively and defensively — that the organization thought he'd be when they traded for him back in 2012.
8. Amed Rosario
Projected 2018 stats: .265 BA, 10 HR, 30 RBI
The Mets' top prospect will get his first crack at a full season in the majors where he will continue to develop into a cornerstone of the future. The biggest thing Rosario needs to work on is his patience at the plate as his .271 on-base percentage is nowhere near suitable enough for a bat projected to be at the top of New York's lineup one day.