Mets Bolster Offensive with Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha

In Billy Eppler’s last GM job with the Los Angeles Angels, his roster had a few big stars with sky-high contracts, but not much else. T...


In Billy Eppler’s last GM job with the Los Angeles Angels, his roster had a few big stars with sky-high contracts, but not much else. The Angels collapsed under that lopsided structure, and a lack of depth also thwarted his new team, the Mets.

“Personally that’s one of my biggest lessons in the last 10 years in baseball, it’s the importance of depth,” Eppler said recently, when the Mets introduced it as the new general manager. “I also suffered in the same way sometimes when it was tested and you had no places to turn to. And frankly, it’s not easy to go and execute a transaction.

The Mets avoided the commercial market on Friday by adding the kind of depth Eppler wants. The team agreed to contract terms with three free agents: center fielder Starling Marte, fielder / first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar. The deals were confirmed by a baseball official who was granted anonymity as players must pass physical exams to formalize the deals.

Marte, 33, closed a four-year, $ 78 million contract after a season with Miami and Oakland that was arguably the best of his career. He led the majors in stolen bases with 47 while hitting .310 with 12 homers and a career best percentage of .383 on bases. Marte was an All-Star for Pittsburgh in 2016, but served an 80-game suspension the following year after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone.

Canha, 32, has been a versatile player for Oakland since 2015. He has a 0.377 based percentage over the past three seasons and led the majors last year in hits, with 27, while hitting 17. circuits. . Canha made at least 20 starts to all three outfield positions last season and has also made 81 career starts on first base.

Escobar, also 32, made his first all-star team last season before Arizona traded it to Milwaukee. He had his best season of 2019 (averaging .269, 35 homers and 118 RBIs) but has a relatively low career base percentage at .309. A switch hitter, Escobar started every infield during an 11-year career spent primarily with Minnesota; he is profiled like a Jonathan Villar type, with more power and less speed.

The investment in Marte, of course, is the largest in years and dollars. He protects the Mets against the possible departure of right fielder Michael Conforto, who is a free agent, and theoretically gives them a better defender in the center than Brandon Nimmo, who could pass on a corner.

The Mets, however, were better than the average team last season in defensive runs saved by midfielders, according to Sports Info Solutions, and few players as old as Marte tend to last long in midfield. Of the major leagues who were 33 or older last season, only the Yankees’ Brett Gardner started more than 70 games in centerfield.

The Mets will likely look to the pitch again now, after missing free agent Steven Matz (who has a four-year, $ 44 million deal with St. Louis) and losing Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Loup to the Angels in free agency. Top free agent starters include Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman, who led the Mets in starts and innings last season.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mets Bolster Offensive with Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha
Mets Bolster Offensive with Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha
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