mets yankees
Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

Each winter, MLB Network runs a series where they rank the top 10 players at each position on the diamond. Depending on how the rankings turn out, there’s an opportunity for people to get fired up and passionately talk about baseball in the dead of winter. Since this series takes place over a few weeks, we wanted to condense the nonsense with all the rankings in one spot, while highlighting where Mets and Yankees players landed.

Starting Pitcher

  1. Corbin Burnes, Brewers
  2. Justin Verlander, Mets
  3. Carlos Rodon, Yankees
  4. Max Scherzer, Mets
  5. Sandy Alcantara, Marlins
  6. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
  7. Max Fried, Braves
  8. Zack Wheeler, Phillies
  9. Jacob deGrom, Rangers
  10. Julio Urias, Dodgers

This list looks weird to me. While he’s no longer with the Mets, it’s a head-scratcher to see deGrom go from number one all the way down to number nine in the span of a year. I guess that’s what happens when you only rack up 11 starts and don’t perform like an alien every time you toe the slab.

Without deGrom in the rotation, the Mets obviously reloaded nicely by snagging Justin Verlander, the reigning American League Cy Young winner. Having him and Scherzer healthy and in the rotation for the majority of 2023 should be a big improvement for New York.

It’s nice to see the Yankees’ new co-ace in Carlos Rodon up near the top. I was a little surprised to not see Gerrit Cole, though. He led the league in homers allowed last year, but he’s still been among baseball’s best pitchers since 2018. Then again, if you put him on this list, who comes off? There are lots of great arms in today’s game.

Relief Pitcher

  1. Edwin Diaz, Mets
  2. Emmanuel Clase, Guardians
  3. Devin Williams, Brewers
  4. Evan Phillips, Dodgers
  5. Jhoan Duran, Twins
  6. Ryan Pressly, Astros
  7. Andrés Muñoz, Mariners
  8. Liam Hendriks, White Sox
  9. Jason Adam, Rays
  10. Ryan Helsley, Cardinals

There’s no real contest on who the best reliever is heading into 2023. Edwin Diaz just came off a historic performance and was rewarded for it financially with a record-setting deal. His 1.31 ERA and 50.2% strikeout rate were both single-season career-high marks. Now, the only question is how he’ll follow up on that memorable 2022.


  1. J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
  2. Will Smith, Dodgers
  3. Adley Ruschman, Orioles
  4. Sean Murphy, Braves
  5. Willson Contreras, Cardinals
  6. Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays
  7. Travis d’Arnaud, Braves
  8. Salvador Perez, Royals
  9. Danny Jansen, Blue Jays
  10. Tyler Stephenson, Reds

It’s not surprising to see no Mets here. And if New York has its druthers, the combo of Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido will make way to top prospect Francisco Alvarez in the near future.

I did think Jose Trevino had a shot. After all, he went to the All-Star Game and won a Gold Glove in 2022. I’d imagine the offense just wasn’t enough to justify it (.671 OPS in 353 plate appearances). His 3.7 fWAR ranked ninth among catchers last year. It was better than Contreras’ 3.3 mark, too.

First Base

  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals
  2. Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
  3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
  4. Jose Abreu, Astros
  5. Pete Alonso, Mets
  6. Matt Olson, Braves
  7. Ty France, Mariners
  8. Nathaniel Lowe, Rangers
  9. Luis Arraez, Marlins
  10. Rhys Hoskins, Phillies

There’s an argument to have Alonso ahead of Abreu, but still, being among the game’s top-five first baseman is an accomplishment. His importance to the Mets is undeniable, so hopefully, he’ll get a contract extension prior to Opening Day.

Anthony Rizzo isn’t here, but he’s a crucial part of the Yankees’ equation, both on and off the field. Plus, he’s already proven his value by helping keep a certain teammate in pinstripes.

Second Base

  1. Jose Altuve, Astros
  2. Jeff McNeil, Mets
  3. Andres Gimenez, Guardians
  4. Marcus Semien, Rangers
  5. Brandon Lowe, Rays
  6. Jorge Polanco, Twins
  7. Brendan Donovan, Cardinals
  8. Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
  9. Kolten Wong, Mariners
  10. Gleyber Torres, Yankees

Jeff McNeil has been among the most valuable second baseman in the game since debuting in 2018. It was good enough to earn a four-year extension from the Mets before hitting free agency at the end of 2024.

Torres had a decent year with the Yankees (115 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR, 24 homers, 76 RBI). He’s also in his final year before free agency, so he’ll be looking to make the most of it. We still don’t know if it’ll be for New York or not, though.


  1. Trea Turner, Phillies
  2. Carlos Correa, Twins
  3. Xander Bogaerts, Padres
  4. Corey Seager, Rangers
  5. Francisco Lindor, Mets
  6. Dansby Swanson, Cubs
  7. Bo Bichette, Blue Jays
  8. Willy Adames, Brewers
  9. Tim Anderson, White Sox
  10. Wander Franco, Rays

Call me biased, but I find it hard to believe that Francisco Lindor isn’t at least a top-three shortstop. He not only led all players at the position with 6.8 fWAR in 2022, but his 42.0 fWAR since 2015 is easily the best in baseball. The next closest is Xander Bogaerts, who checks in at 34.0 fWAR.

And, who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing Oswald Peraza representing the Yankees on this list next year.

Third Base

  1. Manny Machado, Padres
  2. Jose Ramirez, Guardians
  3. Austin Riley, Braves
  4. Rafael Devers, Red Sox
  5. Nolan Arenado, Cardinals
  6. Alex Bregman, Astros
  7. Justin Turner, Red Sox
  8. Max Muncy, Dodgers
  9. Yandy Diaz, Rays
  10. DJ LeMahieu, Yankees

If the Mets actually signed Carlos Correa (like ESPN still thinks they did), maybe New York would’ve had some representation on this list. Eduardo Escobar had a solid finish to 2022, but he mostly struggled through the first five months. And similar to catcher, Brett Baty would like to be included in the near future.

Having DJ LeMahieu on this list tells us more about Josh Donaldson than anything else. Manager Aaron Boone has said he thinks the former MVP has another good year left in him. But, in an ideal world? He’d be playing for someone else. There’s still time to try and make that happen, at least.

Left Field

  1. Yordan Alvarez, Astros
  2. Juan Soto, Padres
  3. Kyle Schwarber, Phillies
  4. Taylor Ward, Angels
  5. Randy Arozarena, Rays
  6. Steven Kwan, Guardians
  7. Tyler O’Neill, Cardinals
  8. Michael Brantley, Astros
  9. Ian Happ, Cubs
  10. Eloy Jimenez, White Sox

No surprises here regarding both the Mets and Yankees not getting included. Mark Canha is slated to be the Mets’ Opening Day left fielder. He’s a solid player and is an asset to the team, but not one that’d show up on a list like this.

Meanwhile, the Yankees are still looking for a left fielder. At the moment, Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Cabrera appear to be the lead candidates to fill that hole in New York’s lineup.

Center Field

  1. Mike Trout, Angels
  2. Byron Buxton, Twins
  3. Julio Rodriguez, Mariners
  4. Brandon Nimmo, Mets
  5. Michael Harris II, Braves
  6. Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
  7. Cedric Mullins, Orioles
  8. Luis Robert, White Sox
  9. Mike Yastrzemski, Giants
  10. Chas McCormick, Astros

Remember when Mets Twitter kept whining about Brandon Nimmo being a starter, saying he was better suited as a fourth outfielder? I remember. Now he’s considered the fourth-best center fielder in baseball. What a time to be alive.

A healthy year from Harrison Bader with his defense should put him in consideration for a spot next winter. That’d especially be the case if he’s able to keep the offensive momentum he created in the postseason going.

Right Field

  1. Aaron Judge, Yankees
  2. Mookie Betts, Dodgers
  3. Bryce Harper, Phillies
  4. Kyle Tucker, Astros
  5. Ronald Acuña Jr., Braves
  6. George Springer, Blue Jays
  7. Starling Marte, Mets
  8. Teoscar Hernandez, Mariners
  9. Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
  10. Hunter Renfroe, Angels

If Aaron Judge wasn’t ranked as the game’s best right fielder after the year he just had, all of these rankings would’ve been rendered useless. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Hitting 62 homers, nearly winning the AL Triple Crown, and taking home MVP honors made this an easy choice. It doesn’t hurt that this was all punctuated by securing the richest contract in Yankees’ history.

Mets fans will certainly agree with Marte’s inclusion, as well. He performed like an All-Star during his first campaign in Flushing. Who knows what would’ve happened in September if he didn’t miss all of it after getting hit by a pitch in Pittsburgh?

Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.