Mets sign Starling Marte
The second move the Mets made to address the lineup was signing Starling Marte to a four-year $78 million dollar deal. This is a move that I like, but am not in love with.
I think Marte's bat will provide a big boost to what should be a much-improved offense. He slashed .310/.383/.458 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI. Marte alongside Brandon Nimmo at the top of the order should get on base a ton in front of the big bats of Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso.
What's really exciting about Marte is that he stole 47 bases in 52 attempts. The entire Mets team stole 54 bases last season with Jonathan Villar's 14 (in 21 attempts) leading the way. Villar was caught more times than Marte was despite stealing 33 fewer bases. Marte's speed and base running is something this Mets team has lacked really since the first tenure of Jose Reyes in Queens.
What's confusing me a bit about the signing was I thought Marte was going to play center field at least at the start of his contract. Brandon Nimmo has an extensive injury history so putting him in a corner spot would help him stay healthier presumably. However, it appears Marte is going to be playing most of the time in right field, a position he has not played at all.
Marte has won two Gold Gloves in left field, Mark Canha has better defensive metrics in right field than left field, yet the Mets seem like they're putting Marte in right, Nimmo in center, and Canha in left. I don't think the Mets are getting as much value simply because I don't trust Nimmo to stay on the field if he is playing center field every day, even if he is a better defender than Marte at that spot.
Marte is also 33 years old, so giving him four years is a big commitment. It probably won't age very well especially when he stops stealing bases at this rate, but Marte makes the Mets much better now than they were before they signed him. Like the Scherzer signing and the Bassitt trade, it's the kind of move a team that is trying to win right now makes.