Players with an injury history should scare New York Mets fans, but not enough to dismiss the possibility of bringing them in.
Something I see far too often on Twitter is fans commenting that the New York Mets should stay away from someone because he is injured too much. In 2018, everyone is often injured. Is a broad description and a poor argument.
I understand the caution some Mets fans have with adding more guys whose romance with the disabled list is a passionate one. Seeing how things turned out with many of the recent free agents, it makes sense why an ability to play 162 games works to a player’s favor.
But is that what’s truly important?
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Plenty of average or below average guys recently played in 162 games. Alcides Escobar and Freddy Galvis are two examples of men who have done so consistently from year-to-year. We’ve also seen a guy like Prince Fielder play in every game per year then suffer a debilitating injury which caused him to retire early. You just never know when a fluke injury will occur.
You also can’t stay away from someone because he has a reputation as someone who gets injured a lot. Of course, there are certain men who are walking corpses. Others sometimes surprise us. Even if they do make an annual trip to the disabled list what they do when they are healthy is worth it.
The age of a player matters a lot when evaluating how much those injuries may affect him moving forward. The type of injury should also matter as should the position he plays.
A pitcher with arm problems is someone you may want to stay away from. A position player in his 20s who happened to tear his hamstring twice in the last three seasons has a far better chance at recovering and giving you consistent starts.
For instance, I wouldn’t touch Andrew Miller this winter. He’s in his mid-30s and coming off a year where he was hurt plenty. On the other hand, A.J. Pollock is a bit younger and can stay healthy enough to give a team 450+ plate appearances. It’s not what you want from a star player, but it’s better than 162 games of slop.
Over the past two seasons, one of the healthiest Mets was Jose Reyes. He’s not the type of guy I think anyone wants to bring back.
The Mets shouldn’t necessarily target regularly injured players. However, ignoring them on the free agent market is foolish. Plenty of guys heel up and have fantastic careers after they’re feeling better. Others may only need to go from an expected 162 games down to something closer to 120.
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In building the 2019 Mets, no one should be off-limits. Ignoring an available arm or bat for any reason other than he’s not very good is a mistake.