Final grade for the Mets free agent signing of Eduardo Escobar

St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The Eduardo Escobar era is over for the New York Mets. The veteran infielder was sent to the Los Angeles Angels during their game on Friday night, putting an end to what turned out to be an underwhelming short stay in Queens.

It’s hard to believe Escobar signed with the Mets coming off of an All-Star campaign split with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers. He hit 28 home runs, drove in 90, and had a respectable enough .253/.314/.472 slash line. It looked like his awesome 2019 campaign of smashing 35 home runs and driving in 118 wasn’t entirely all about the juiced baseballs.

Escobar’s two-year deal didn’t cost the team a whole lot in terms of professional sports dollars. What made this free agent signing worse is how Escobar failed to meet expectations. Let’s give it a final grade.

A final grade for the NY Mets free agent signing of Eduardo Escobar

Signed on the same day as Mark Canha and Starling Marte, Escobar was one of the aggressive moves made pre-MLB lockout to overhaul the starting lineup. The 2021 Mets ended up with Jonathan Villar starting at third base more than anyone else with J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme as the only other two with double-digit games at the position. Escobar was viewed as a huge upgrade for the Mets at the hot corner. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out so well and that’s a big reason why he’s no longer with the ball club.

In his 176 games with New York, Escobar was a .240/.293/.426 hitter in 662 plate appearances. It was short of the lifetime .254/.307/.435 he owned at the time of the trade to the Angels. Needless to say, Escobar didn’t come near to the expectations anyone had.

Escobar’s 24 home runs and 85 RBI in 176 games fell short of even what he did in all of 2021 when he hammered 28 and drove in 90. Moving from the hitter’s haven in Arizona to the more pitcher-friendly confines of Citi Field certainly could be one reason why, but it’s not a good enough excuse. Escobar was a weak link throughout the 2022 Mets season up until the final weeks when he suddenly became their most productive offensive weapon.

It was in those final 30 games for the 2022 Mets where Escobar hit .321/.385/.596 with 8 home runs and 25 RBI. The monstrous finish gave fans hope for brighter days in 2023. They failed to arrive. It was clear early on this season Escobar was a better fit for the Mets bench than the starting lineup.

You know the facts. You’ve experienced the heartbreak. What does this free agent grade get as its final grade?

A harsh grader should award this with a D+ with the idea of a C being average. Escobar did hit well in the three postseason Mets games they played, but the fact that he wasn’t able to carry any of his success over to this season definitely makes this a below-average deal. The Mets should get some credit for being able to flip him for two prospects who now slot into the top 20 according to Coleman Crow ranks 11th with Landon Marceaux dropping in at number 18.

Nevertheless, the free agent signing itself was a failure. It doesn’t get an F grade. The D+ or a C- if you’re feeling especially kind today, is a little more realistic. Escobar lost his starting job this year because he got off to another slow start. He was a good teammate, but that’s not enough.

The Mets get a D+ for the free agent signing of Eduardo Escobar.