Mets Free Agent Targets: Three utility players they should consider

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 10: A detailed view of the Nike batting gloves worn by David Wright #5 of the New York Mets prior to a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field on March 10, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - MARCH 10: A detailed view of the Nike batting gloves worn by David Wright #5 of the New York Mets prior to a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field on March 10, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /
Mets /

The New York Mets have added a few batters to fill out their lineup. However, adding a utility player capable of taking over at multiple positions would surely help add some needed depth.

The New York Mets made a move to pick up Wilson Ramos which has spurred Brodie Van Wagenen into downplaying the interest in A.J. Pollock. The new GM seems to be content with Ramos in the middle of the lineup providing the right-hand presence that the team was desperately searching for.

In all honesty, the decision to retain both Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto combined with the acquisition of a $9.5 Million salary in Ramos is the most likely culprit for this new mindset.

Juan Lagares would be slated to be the recipient of the majority of Center Field duty, however, he cannot be relied upon due to health issues. The signing of Rajai Davis to a minor league contract is an adept move, as there is no risk and Davis still provides quality speed and depth at a minuscule price.

There is still room for another outfielder as Nimmo can play some center field as well, leaving a spot for another outfielder to receive playing time when Lagares is out of the lineup.

Peering at the Mets roster one will notice that the infield is rather barren beyond the starters at each position. If one figures that Dominic Smith will be the starting first baseman Mickey Callaway only has Jeff McNeil and T.J. Rivera, who cannot be relied upon. Another outfielder and infielder may be very welcome to this roster.

Therefore, the Mets must balance the signing of another reliever and the addition of a depth position player or two on a limited budget. These are some names that should be taken under advisement by Brodie Van Wagenen and the Mets front office.

Mets /

Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS

Jed Lowrie is a versatile asset that can play a solid second base and some shortstop while putting up rather good hitting statistics. He is 35 years old and has produced in many situations, but especially in Oakland.

Last season he managed to reach 23 home runs, 99 RBIs and a 4.9  WAR. He finds his way on base by posting a career OBP of .335 and OPS of .750. These numbers are impressive, especially when taking his career average of .262 into consideration. Also, his profound output of doubles over the last two seasons totals at 86 for the two seasons.

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The former Athletic has for much of his career posted relatively low strikeout numbers, until posting 128 last season. This shows that he is always able to make contact, the extra strikeouts last season came from cold spells.

More home runs indicate more strikeouts, yet 128 is not overwhelming compared to some other players and the changed approach of most hitters. A player that can make a good deal of contact would be a major asset coming off the bench or in a utility role.

Figuring McNeil will absorb a significant portion of the time at first base, Lowrie could serve as a nice backup option to Ahmed Rosario and Robinson Cano. Cano is 36 and having some time off would serve him very well. Such a situation makes the acquisition of a player like Lowrie invaluable.

However, Lowrie’s massive production in his contract year may force a higher paycheck. The Mets would be wise to spend on him because of their injury history. If injuries are to occur at the rate of the last few seasons, Lowrie could play a significant portion of the time.

Depth is not something that should be ignored, it is vital for a deep run into October. His age and the depth in this market could possibly push his value down slightly. At the right price, Lowrie would be a phenomenal acquisition.

Possible Contract: $24 Million/2 yrs 

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Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF

Josh Harrison has made a career of playing in a myriad of positions all over the diamond. He is mainly a 2B/3B but has played in the outfield as well. He can provide insurance to Cano and Todd Frazier, who was oft-injured last season. He also adds a right-handed bat into the mix, as the Mets are heavily left-handed.

His career stats are more promising than the bleak picture last season presented. He was able to put up a WAR above 1 every season from 2014 until 2017, including a 2.6 WAR in 2017 and 4.8 WAR in 2014. He also boasts two All-Star appearances in 2014 and 2017.  His resume depicts a player that is very capable and would fit the Mets needs well.

The former Pirate can offer a degree of speed to the club as well, which is an area that the Mets always seem to be lacking in. The addition of his speed on the basepaths will be welcome. Harrison is not well-known for his plate discipline or OBP, but even with relatively little power, he was able to post over 20 doubles every year since 2014, outside of 2018. The aberration of 2018 slightly skews his statistics, which could potentially make him a value signing for the Mets.

Harrison would get more playing time than someone like Jed Lowrie due to the plethora of positions he can play. His poor season in 2018 could create an opportunity for the Mets to acquire him on a feasible contract.

Projected Contract: $5 Million/1yr 

Mets /

Marwin Gonzalez 1B/SS/3B/OF

Marwin Gonzalez was a vital cog in the 2017 World Champion Astros team. He can play all around the diamond, field adequately all over, and hit well. He is maybe not an everyday player, but his ability to play in multiple positions will get him in the lineup more often than not.

The 2017 season was an optimal year for Gonzalez, but this season is unlikely to be replicated. Still, he can put up something similar to a .260/.320/.430 slash line. He is also a switch hitter and can produce from both sides of the plate, which is a plus for the Mets.

His WAR outputs have consistently been above 1 and to have a player that is productive and can play so many positions just increases his value.

The Mets would be wise to take action and sign him because he is the best option on this list. He can provide insurance to Cano and Frazier, play at first base, and in the corner outfield spots. All of these factors make him a very interesting target for Van Wagenen.

Above all Gonzalez has much postseason experience from his days in Houston. He can add that factor to a Mets team that really does not have great postseason experience, especially among position players.

The additions of Cano and Gonzalez would be helpful in this area because only Michael Conforto and Juan Lagares were contributors to the 2015 World Series team among the starting lineup.

Projected Contract: $39 Million/3yrs

Run outputs in 2015 and 2018 compared. Next

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