There it is. The first position player free agent signing. Right? I don’t think I’ve missed one, and I’ve been waiting. It’s Eduardo Escobar heading to the New York Mets on a two-year deal.
Sources: Eduardo Escobar, Mets in agreement on 2-year deal, pending physical. Close to $25M.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 26, 2021
Heard the deal is 2 yrs, $20M for Escobar. #Mets
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 26, 2021
Escobar, 33 in January, is a switch-hitter who can play passably all over the infield, and historically has posted just a tick better than league average offensive numbers. He’s a nice guy for just about any team to have, and on the Mets, he provides cover at second (Jeff McNeil?) and third base (J.D. Davis?), where the Mets’ situations are uncertain. Interesting that he’s the first guy off the board – it suggests a lot of teams were hoping to land him, and that he was happy to sign before the CBA expires next week. Lotta teams out there have needs at second base.
The last three full seasons, Escobar has been worth 3.0 WAR or more. Kinda wild, eh? But I guess his age dinged him a bit. I wouldn’t necessarily take this as a data point suggesting the position player market is soft.
I also wouldn’t necessarily take this as a sign that the position player market is about to break open, but obviously the pitching side of things has been rolling for a while, and there are just flat-out going to be guys/teams that want deals done before next week. So high alert and such.
Oh, also: I wonder if this is partly because the Mets are going to shop Davis (or plan on him at DH), or are going to shop McNeil (who has reportedly had serious friction with Francisco Lindor).
As a possibly related matter, the timing of this deal getting finalized makes me wonder about the Javy Báez-Detroit Tigers reports that blew up this afternoon. After all, the Mets have long been considered the most likely landing spot for Báez – at second base – and now the Mets have a seeming overload of infielders. Any chance the talks with Báez got to a point where (1) the Mets knew it wasn’t going to happen, and (2) the Tigers started to get confident? So the Mets pulled the trigger on Escobar?
If so, we could hear more about Báez very soon.