A quiet early November move by the New York Mets brought them infielder Zack Short via waiver claim from the Detroit Tigers. Short got to see his most ample major league action last season with the Tigers, battling his way to a .204/.292/.339 slash line in 253 plate appearances.
Short has never been a promising hitter. The last time he hit .250 or better at any level was in 2017 when he was in Single-A for the Chicago Cubs. He’s not much of a power hitter either and has been prone to striking out. Look no further than his 2022 season in Triple-A where he hit 11 home runs yet struck out 149 times.
What’s to like about him? He can draw walks and plays good defense at multiple positions. He’s already a candidate to take the Luis Guillorme role on the Mets roster.
Is Zack Short an acceptable Luis Guillorme replacement?
The pros are there. Short will cost less than Guillorme would if the Mets kept him. He’s more prone to pop a home run and can steal a bag better than Guillorme ever did. The defense is up for debate. We can call it even.
A huge glaring negative when it comes to short, aside from a .174 batting average in the majors, is the lack of minor league options. The Mets will either carry him on their Opening Day roster or cut him loose. He’s immediately on the DFA bubble. Is this just protection in case of an early injury?
Moving on from Guillorme seemed to make sense if the Mets were going with an obvious upgrade or someone with options. Ronny Mauricio should already be seen as the obvious backup shortstop even if the Mets never have to play him there and he wins the third base gig. Guillorme was becoming obsolete on the Mets roster.
Short does offer something different, but is it anything better? Other than a smaller price tag for a bench player, it seems like his presence on the Mets may just be temporary. Let’s say they miss on other targets or suffer an injury. Short can be a temporary option. While an option for Opening Day, it doesn’t seem as if Short has any chances of surviving much longer if health is on the Mets’ side.
Yes, Short should be in the conversation to take on the backup infield role on the Mets. A history of three minor league seasons of drawing 80+ walks is promising. The fact that he hit 7 home runs last year makes him a major upgrade in power over Guillorme who had 5 in his entire career for New York.
The Mets shouldn’t stop at Short when it comes to Guillorme replacements. Keep him around to see how things shake out, but remain vigilant in the search for anyone else out there.