We all know the Mets desperately needed to upgrade their offense. It’s no surprise to anyone that they were going to be aggressive this offseason after finishing the season ranked 13th in runs scored, 24th in OPS (yes, one rank below the Baltimore Orioles), and 25th in home runs, if that matters to anyone.
Eduardo Escobar – C
2021 All-Star Eduardo Escobar has been brought to Queens to fill the void left by Javy Baez’s departure in free agency. Obviously, there is still a possibility Baez comes back and signs with the Mets long-term, but at the moment I’m struggling to see it really happen.
I don’t hate this move, but I’m for sure not in love with it. Escobar is 32, and although he’s coming off a great year, I’m not sure giving him $20 million was ideal.
Personally, I think Kris Bryant would have been a better option here. For sure he would have demanded a higher price tag, but he could’ve been someone to plug at 3rd base, Lindor at Short, McNeil at 2nd, and keep Nimmo and Smith rotating in the corner OF spots with Canha. But I’m not Billy Eppler.
Mark Canha – B
After losing Michael Conforto after he rejected his Qualifying Offer (no surprise), the Mets bolstered their outfield by adding veteran Mark Canha, formerly of the Oakland A’s. Canha can play all outfield positions, but he’s mainly a corner guy. He can DH, play first base, and he knows how to get on base. Canha finished 2021 with a .358 OBP, which is an upgrade for a team that got on base at a .314 clip. He also led the AL in HBP (27), so maybe he’ll earn some quick trips to first base in the process as well.
Overall, I like this move. It’s not the big name that people were probably thinking. Not the sexiest or most headline-grabbing. I’m sure Mets fans would’ve rather seen someone like Nick Castellanos take the trip over to Queens, but Canha is a solid player who I honestly think will be a little underappreciated during his tenure with the Mets, but overall, productive.
Starling Marte – A
This was the most exciting for me. I love Starling Marte. I followed the Stolen Base Race last season to watch him beat out Whit Merrifield of the Royals in one of the most exciting races since Gore vs. Bush circa 2000. I think he has the potential to be a 30-30 guy, but for the most part, he’s been a 20-20 type of guy. He’s averaged 42 steals per season for his career and just swiped 47 bags between in 2021 as a Marlin and an Athletic. For a Mets team that ranked 24th in the league in stolen bases (54), I’d say that is some well-needed speed on the basepaths.
Pause. I have to point out how ridiculous that is. Starling Marte would have accounted for 87% of the Mets team steals total last season. WTF? That’s insane! The Mets need this type of guy in the lineup to compliment Escobar, Canha, and big boppers like Alonso and Lindor.
He adds solid defense to a large Citi Field outfield, can play all OF positions, and can we finally say that the Mets have found their first real Centerfielder since Carlos Beltran? Like this guy legitimately can play center field, and we don’t have to stick Nimmo or McNeil or Davis or Smith out there as a placeholder.
Can’t wait to see this guy in Queens.
With the impending lockout coming Wednesday night, we can only hope the Mets make a few more deals. They need to add to their rotation. There have been rumors about Scherzer, but I’ve found it hard to truly believe. But who knows. Players want to get deals done, want to have their future set and secure before everything goes south once the CBA expires. Now we play the waiting game.
***MAJOR UPDATE AS I’M WRITING THIS: MAX SCHERZER HAS SIGNED WITH THE METS!! REPORTS ARE SAYING 3 YEARS, $130 MILLION WHICH IS A $43 MILLION AAV. IS THIS REAL? WOW****
QUICK MAX SCHERZER GRADE: A++++++++++
Like I just got finished saying before I hit publish, players want to get deals done. A few other teams were in the mix for Scherzer supposedly, but Uncle Steve flexed his pockets and gave Mad Max what he deserved. DeGrom & Scherzer together? What? Boy, those first two games of the season are going to be tough for Nationals fans. I’m expecting nothing less than 2 shutouts with a total of 2 hits given up.
Is there more in store for the Mets? What do you all think? Let us know!