Thursday Thought: 3 third base options if Carlos Correa doesn't sign

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New York Mets fans are anxiously waiting to see how the Carlos Correa saga will come to an end. The hope is that he and the Mets can agree to a deal, but something has to be done to protect the Mets from his medical risks.

The overall consensus on social media seems to be that while Correa obviously puts this team over the top, it would behoove Steve Cohen and the Mets to back out if he and his agent, Scott Boras, aren’t willing to be reasonable. This is nothing new with Boras, as this happened just last summer on a smaller scale with Kumar Rocker. 

The Mets have options at third base if the deal falls through. Let’s look at them.

Mets third base option #1 if Correa doesn’t sign: Brett Baty

Baty is the second ranked third base prospect in baseball, trailing only Cardinals prospect Jordan Walker. He got a cup of coffee with the Mets last season, playing 11 games before suffering a season-ending thumb injury. 

While it’s very hard to accurately judge a player in such a small sample size, the big takeaway was that he hits the ball very hard. Baty was 13th in MLB with 43.3% sweet spot percentage (qualifiers adjusted to a minimum of 25 plate appearances). His max exit velocity of 113 miles per hour was in the 89th percentile. 

Baty has a chance to break camp as the everyday third baseman if Correa doesn’t sign. He’s had great success in the minors, and in an everyday role, it should show in the Majors too.

Mets third base option #2 if Correa doesn’t sign: Eduardo Escobar

If the Mets want Baty to get a little more seasoning in the minors, they’ll start Eduardo Escobar at the hot corner. The nice thing about Escobar is that you know exactly what you’re going to get over the course of a season. The slashline won’t be pretty, but he’s going to hit 20-25 homers and doubles, drive in about 70 runs, and play a barely-serviceable third base. 

The downside of Escobar is that he’s incredibly streaky. There are going to be weeks where he doesn’t come close to putting the bat on the ball, just like there are going to be weeks where he wins games or series all on his own. He can be very exciting, but patience is a necessity with him.

Mets third base option #3 if Correa doesn’t sign: Rafael Devers

Steve Cohen and Billy Eppler like to take big swings, so here’s another one to think about.

Rafael Devers is the last man standing of the Red Sox’s core, and the writing is on the wall that they are not going to extend him. They traded Mookie Betts before he would’ve left in free agency, and they let Xander walk this offseason. They might as well get something in return for Devers while they can to move their rebuild along.

By “get something back,” I mean a few top prospects. Brett Baty would likely headline the return package, which would also include one of Blade Tidwell or Calvin Ziegler, and at least one other top 20 prospect (Jose Butto? Junior Santos? Nick Morabito?). Devers is only under team control for 2023, so that lowers his price, thankfully. If the Mets were to acquire him in a trade, they should look to extend him.

I hope Scott Boras and Carlos Correa choose to be reasonable and a deal works out. But if they choose not to, the Mets have options, which is always a good thing. 

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