Mets: Free agent options for the hot corner
By Christina Cola
With David Wright still making his incredible journey back from the DL, the Mets are going to need someone for third base next year.
The good news is, there are some great candidates up for free agency. The Mets aren’t just going to need another bat in the lineup this time, they’re also going to need someone who knows the position well and can play some solid defense. It’s an interesting focus for the Mets in the upcoming year since aside from their rotation, they’ve been a predominantly offensive focused team. So who in this free agent market is the best fit?
Moustakas is at the top of everyone’s list this offseason. He’s also the most expensive option. According to Marc Carig, however, he doesn’t think it’s something the Mets will pursue.
Which is a shame because Moustakas has a bat that would fit nicely in the Mets line up as a third or fourth hitter, as well as some pretty defensive stats. His errors are much higher than they were last season, at 12 on the year, but his overall fielding percentage was still .962. He’s not a utility guy either. Moustakas to this point has spent his entire career at third, which in my mind usually makes for a better position player. Then, of course, there are his beautiful numbers at the plate. .272/.314/.521 with 38 home runs. Imagine having that bat in the Mets line up along with Conforto, Cespedes, Rosario, and Smith. It’s painfully beautiful. But mostly just painful because the likely hood that the Mets actually go for him seems pretty low.
Aside from the fact that his name is really fun to say, he’s another candidate that would work well for the Mets at third. Plouffe is definitely more of a utility player, but still, most of his career starts have come at third. He finished the season with only 8 errors in the hot corner and a fielding percentage of .949. At the plate, however, he’s been much less impressive. I could see him more towards the bottom of the order with numbers like .198/.272/.318. But don’t let these numbers scare you off, the Mets, if healthy, should have plenty of offensive production especially with Brandon Nimmo and TJ Rivera trying to make their way into the line up next year.
Peralta spent the majority of his early career at shortstop but for the past few seasons has played a solid third base for the Cardinals. Defensively Peralta has been great at third. Between 2016 and 2017 he has a total of 5 errors and is posting a .961 fielding percentage. At the plate, Peralta had a bit of a down year, only batting .204. He bounced around a bit up in Boston before ending up back with the Cardinals. But he’s still a career .267 hitter and could be a bargain at least for a one year deal at third since he’s pushing 36 years old.
Next: The demise of the Matt Harvey
Only time will tell whether the Mets decide to really go for it with the third base free agent market. It seems in their best interest to do so. Otherwise, one of those utility players or Asdrubal Cabrera is really going to have to make a commitment to the position in 2018.