Going into the offseason, it seemed unlikely that Wilmer Flores would be the shortstop come Opening Day. However, time has passed, and fans are starting to worry that Flores will indeed be written in the lineup card with a six next to his name. While this is worrisome, the more troubling thought is that Ruben Tejada is next in line
There is one other internal option, with Matt Reynolds nearly major league ready, if not already. However, “internal options” have frustrated fans in the past, especially options like Reynolds, who is not viewed as a top prospect. A few external options include Everth Cabrera and Erisbel Arruebarrena, both of whom will come fairly cheap.
It is also very possible that Sandy Alderson makes a trade involving a large name, such as Troy Tulowitzki, or perhaps more likely, Brad Miller. However, if he is unable to acquire such talent, he must find a better fallback option than Ruben Tejada.
Everth Cabrera hit a measly .232 last year while slugging just .300. However, he hit .283 the year before with 37 stolen bases prior to being suspended for PED use. Steamer projects him to hit .250/.311/.335 with 30 stolen bases this upcoming season. While he may not be a large upgrade to Ruben Tejada, he should provide speed on the base paths, which Tejada does not have.
Erisbel Arruebarrena hit just .195 last season, while slugging an ugly .220, and Steamer doesn’t project much better for him this season. However, he is by far the best defender available, and that could help the Mets’ pitching staff, which could otherwise be susceptible to an inordinate amount of grounders that sneak through the infield due to the presence of Wilmer Flores and Daniel Murphy.
Cabrera and Arruebarrena may not seem like great options, but that’s why they are back-up plans. Sandy Alderson should still be searching for a legitimate starting shortstop, but there is nothing wrong with a Plan B.