Mets Rumors: Sluggers Nick Castellanos, Nelson Cruz on the wish list
By Tim Boyle
New York Mets rumors have linked them to a pair of defensively-challenged sluggers. Are Nick Castellanos or Nelson Cruz bound for Flushing?
If you haven’t already made your Christmas wish list, get on it, girl! The New York Mets have a very extensive one. Recent Mets rumors even include two gifts we didn’t think they would pursue this winter.
Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free-Press reported that the Metropolitans checked in on Nick Castellanos. In a similar tone, Jon Heyman of Fancred reported some interest for free agent Nelson Cruz.
If these Mets rumors carry significant weight, it tells us that Brodie Van Wagenen is gearing up to punt right field defense and go for the home run ball. Castellanos is a very poor defender while Cruz likely doesn’t own a baseball glove any longer.
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Castellanos is a fine hitter and someone who would fit in nicely on the right roster. Preferably, the American League would suit him best. Last year he hit a career-best .298/.354/.500 with 46 doubles and 23 home runs. He won’t turn 27 in March and will be a free agent after the upcoming season.
Cruz is at a much different stage of his MLB career. At 38, he has shown faint signs of slowing down. He slashed .256/.342/.509 last year with 37 home runs and 97 RBI. This is by no means poor, but the .850 OPS was his lowest since 2012.
Last year, Cruz played only 26.1 innings defensively for the Seattle Mariners. For two seasons now, he has been primarily a designated hitter. Castellanos didn’t have the same luxury with the Detroit Tigers do to their employment of Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera. His bad glove work at third base led to a move into right field where the Mets would likely place him.
Perhaps these Mets rumors are linked to other whispers we’ve read about this winter. If they do trade Michael Conforto or Brandon Nimmo, they would need a replacement. Could Castellanos or Cruz fill the void?
I don’t feel there’s a clear fit for either man on the Mets in 2019. If Peter Alonso wasn’t pounding his fists on the door to the big leagues, then perhaps they could find themselves at first base.
Other Mets rumors continue linking them to free agents Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Pollock. Even with their warts, they are far better fits for the Mets than Castellanos or Cruz.
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You can’t knock Brodie Van Wagenen for at least checking in on the pair, though, can ya?