Mets non-roster invitee to know: Jonathan Arauz
Jonathan Arauz is only 24 and yet his name has popped up plenty of times over the last few years in transactions. Most recently a waiver claim by the New York Mets from the Baltimore Orioles, his career began with the Philadelphia Phillies before getting traded to the Houston Astros alongside Ken Giles in 2015.
Arauz has been a Rule 5 Draft pick and a waiver claim since. A lifetime .200/.269/.314 hitter in 196 MLB plate appearances, what can he offer the Mets this year?
How Jonathan Arauz can contribute to the Mets this season
Arauz isn’t a Four-A player who mashes in the minors then falls off the cliff when he reaches the big leagues. He batted only .197/.263/.254 on the farm last year. He’s a light hitter with only two professional seasons of batting .250 or higher. This includes everything from rookie ball up to the big leagues.
Certainly not around for his bat, Arauz is an infielder picked up by the Mets for not much more than depth. Because Danny Mendick may begin the year on the IL, it didn’t hurt to have someone with MLB experience waiting around on the farm just in case spring training is brutal on the health of multiple players.
Arauz is way down the depth chart behind all of the major leaguers and probably Jose Peraza as well. The benefit of Arauz is he does have a minor league option left. If the Mets needed a short-term option to place on the bench, he might be the one promoted over Peraza. Peraza no longer has minor league options left. He feels more like a longer-term roster candidate than a guy to give the Mets infield depth for a week or two.
Chances are we only see Arauz in the majors this year under two conditions. One is that everyone on the roster gets hurt during a team-bonding spin class. The other is if they need infield depth for only a short period of time—like a single series. If, say, Francisco Lindor is hurt but not badly enough to land on the IL and the situation is the same with Luis Guillorme, a reliever who pitched the day before could get sent down in favor of having Arauz available for emergency innings.
Other than those extra scenarios, we shouldn’t expect to see much of Arauz. He’s the new Travis Blankenhorn.