The MLB free agency period remains at a halt due to the ongoing lockout, as the owners and the MLBPA still have not yet come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement. But when the lockout comes to an end, the New York Mets could end up jumping out early to once again shore up their outfield depth.

As Showalter noted during the Mets’ minor league camp on Friday, general manager Billy Eppler has not completely ruled out the possibility of hauling in another outfielder.

“[The outfield] is something we have talked about, where we are,” Showalter said. “We are on the same page with everything where that is concerned.

“It’s a scenario that we are examining to see if we feel comfortable with it. We’re always going to look within first.”

The Mets will see plenty of change with their outfield in the 2022 season. Dominic Smith notched 107 starts as a left fielder over the 2021 campaign, while now-former Mets manager Luis Rojas called upon Jeff McNeil to start in 26 games in left field. Showalter has not set anything in stone regarding just who will be the team’s regular starter out in left field, although Mark Canha may very well be that player for the Mets this upcoming season. He signed a two-year, $26.5 million deal ahead of the lockout, and he brings a multitude of previous experience as a left fielder from during his days with the Oakland Athletics.

All signs point to new Mets outfielder Starling Marte patrolling center field for the team in the coming campaign, which then leaves the right field position up for grabs. Veteran outfielder Brandon Nimmo is slated to be an option for the Mets out in right field, although he combined for a mere 16 appearances over the past three seasons in this position.

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Still, as Eppler noted during Canha, Marte and Eduardo Escobar’s introductory press conference with the Mets, the versatility of the two outfield newcomers sure will provide the team with a multitude of routes on just how to handle this dilemma.

“Adding these three players really solidifies our lineup,” Eppler said. “It provides positional flexibility and depth and will really allow us to take on a lot of the elements that get introduced over the 162-game season. We want to be able to create a club that’s built to withstand the demands.”

The Mets will have multiple options for their regular outfield trio next season. If they opt to slot in Canha and Marte in the left and center field positions respectively, they may opt to explore the free agent market for a player who could share the right field duties with Nimmo. The likes of Kris Bryant and Nick Castellanos will be available once the lockout ends, but the team could also simply look for a backup, rotational right fielder if they aspire to pencil in Nimmo as their go-to starter at the position.

More so, a reunion with Michael Conforto could possibly be on the table as well. He was the Mets’ regular starter in right field last season, as he recorded 14 home runs in what turned out to be an injury-riddled campaign. He did decline the team’s one-year, $18.3 million qualifying offer in early November and is still a free agent.

Eppler sure will have key options across the board to address this matter.