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NY Mets: 9 under the radar free agents the Mets should target

NEW YORK - APRIL 07: The home run apple is seen before the New York Mets play the Florida Marlins on April 7, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 07: The home run apple is seen before the New York Mets play the Florida Marlins on April 7, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Jul 19, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar (5) makes the off balance play against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth inning at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets have had a hole at third base since David Wright retired. Enter Eduardo Escobar.

The 32-year-old, switch-hitting infielder had a good season in 2021. He hit .253/.314/.472/.786 with 28 homers, 26 doubles, 90 RBI, and 70 runs scored. He had an OPS+ of 109, a wRC+ of 107, and a WAR of 2.9.

His Baseball Savant page isn’t exactly as red as a rose garden, but his metrics look decent. His max exit velocity was in the 76th percentile, and his xSLG was in the 67th. He’s another guy that doesn’t walk a ton (37th percentile BB%), but he doesn’t strike out that much (54th percentile K%).

Defensively, Escobar split most of his time between second (42 games) and third (34 games), but he also played 18 games at first and one at shortstop. He posted a zero DRS – exactly average – at second and short, and he was slightly below at first (-1) and third (-3). Positional versatility is a huge asset to have, and since he’s basically average at each infield position, he could move around a lot.

It’s worth noting that the Mets have two top prospects that primarily play third base in Mark Vientos and Brett Baty. If the Mets think they can contribute sooner than later, it would behoove them to go after someone like Escobar on a shorter deal instead of a much longer commitment like Kris Bryant.

Escobar is an unrestricted free agent, so there’s nothing to worry about in terms of options or qualifying offers. His offense combined with his positional versatility would make him a good fit in Queens.

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