File this one under “things I really hope don’t happen, but wouldn’t be surprised if they did”
This offseason, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Atlanta Braves in one of the weirdest it-could-have-been-a-blockbuster-in-2010 trades in recent memory. The Braves, as expected, released the former slugger on Tuesday, and apparently the Mets reached out to him almost immediately.
The front office has been reportedly unhappy with Dominic Smith‘s performance last season after being called up to the big leagues, so they could entertain the idea of signing a first baseman to help out. Gonzalez is not that guy, however.
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His decline has been bad, and it’s been quick. In 2017, the 35-year-old hit just .242, with a .287 on-base percentage and a .355 slugging percentage. He played in 71 games for Los Angeles and only hit three home runs.
If that’s not enough to discard him as a possibility, Gonzalez has also had some health issues recently. Last season he was forced to miss the entire postseason with a back injury. The last thing the Mets need is another first baseman with a bad back. We had one of those already, and his name was Lucas Duda.
Unfortunately, even with all these reasons mentioned, Gonzalez may get serious consideration by the Mets because he’s going to come relatively cheap to whoever takes a shot at him. He’s scheduled to make over $22 million in 2018 from his previous, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he was willing to settle for the veteran’s minimum wherever he ends up.
If I’m the Mets though, there’s zero upside to this. Gonzalez would, at most, be a one-year player with no future on the team. Smith struggled, yes, but he’s got way more potential at this point than anyone else the Mets could be interested in. This organization does not want to spend on a first baseman that could make big impact next season, so keep giving the new kid time to grow, and hope that he can develop into an early-Adrian Gonzalez type.
Stay away from this one, guys. Please.