The New York Mets and their new general manager Billy Eppler made some big splashes with their black Friday deals this year. In a span of a couple of hours, they brought in infielder Eduardo Escobar and outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte.
The Mets were able to grab all three players on what most believe are good deals, the most intriguing to me is Escobars though. Escobar is a 32 year third basemen that can also play the other three infield positions. In addition to his defensive versatility, he provides some nice thump in the lineup as he had 28 home runs this past season and 35 in 2019.
Escobar is the most intriguing to me mainly because of the length of the deal. A player of his caliber and age I would have expected to net around a four-year deal, so to see him sign for a two-year deal with a club option for a third was a bit surprising to me, but I am not complaining.
Eduardo Escobar serves as a perfect bridge for the Mets current top infield prospects
Signing Escobar to a short two-year deal is perfect in my eyes. Not only is he a capable major league player with a strong bat, and he is talked very highly of as a clubhouse leader which the Mets have lacked in recent years. Escobar also slots in perfect time-wise until one of the Mets minor league infield prospects are fully ready.
The Mets have multiple infield prospects that are expected to have a big impact as soon as the 2022 season. Between Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, Ronny Mauricio, and even Carlos Cortes, the Mets have a nice young group of guys with high expectations ready to make their debuts soon.
Even though Mauricio is looked at as a shortstop and Cortes as a second baseman, they can easily be moved to third, especially Mauricio with Lindor locked in at shortstop for the next ten years.
Despite all four guys having ETA's of the next two years, only one of them has played above AA. Vientos is the only one to have played in AAA and it only consisted of 11 games. Baty only has 40 games at AA, Cortes has 79 games at AA, and Mauricio has 8 games at AA. As much as I would love to see any of them in the big leagues as soon as this upcoming season, it is not overly likely that any of them are truly ready.
Even with all four of these guys having estimated arrival times within the next two years depending on the source of the prediction, bringing in Escobar for a two-year deal and team option for a third year is great added insurance. We have seen too many guys rushed to the majors (especially for the Mets) that were clearly not ready, and the results were not pretty both in short term and long term results.
The worst case scenario is that one or some of these prospects stay on track or even arrive to the big leagues early and the Mets have multiple infielders to shuffle around. In that case I could see the Mets moving Escobar as he is on a pretty team friendly deal so it would not be too hard to move him, but that is a bridge to cross if and when we ever even get there.
At the end of the day, the Mets and new general manager Billy Eppler did a fantastic job with the signing of Escobar. They brought in a solid major league player that has defensive versatility, a solid bad, provides a good clubhouse presence, and can serve as a bridge to the future.
Do you think Eduardo Escobar serves as the perfect bridge piece to the Mets current infield prospects?