2) Worst NY Mets free agent signing since Steve Cohen took over: Eduardo Escobar
Is it took early to call this one a bust? While Almora was infinitely worse than Eduardo Escobar, we have to consider the price tag and role with the team.
Escobar signed as a free agent with the Mets in the 2021-2022 offseason a year after his first All-Star selection. The spin with him was that he’d be a great short-term option until Brett Baty was ready for the big leagues. If the team traded Jeff McNeil, he could have even become the new starting second baseman.
The Mets used Escobar primarily as the third baseman in 2022. He defended poorly and failed to hit regularly until the last month of the season. In 542 plate appearances, Escobar was a .240/.295/.430 hitter. He knocked 20 home runs, too. It was one of his weakest power outputs since becoming a regular in MLB.
Escobar remains signed through at least 2023 for another $9.5 million on top of the $10 million he took home in 2022. The 2024 campaign includes a $9 million team option as well as a $500K buyout.
Already, Escobar is someone who could see his role go from starter to part-timer or platoon. Year one with the Mets was bad but not dreadful. He did at least come up with a few big hits. The same cannot be said about the absolute worst free agent signing of the Cohen era.