16:47: The deal also includes a 2024 club option, Sherman reports.
16:28: That’s a $ 20mm guarantee, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter).
16:24: The Mets and Free Agent Infelder Eduardo Escobar Are in agreement on a two-year contract, pending a physical, reports Jon Heiman of the MLB Network (Twitter link). This is the first major strike of the offseason for the Mets, who recently tumbled Billy Appler to head their baseball operations department.
Escobar gives the Mets cover in three infield positions, as he comes from a season in which he logged 100+ innings in each of the first base, second base and third base. He has also extended run as a shortstop earlier in his career, but he has only played two innings there in the last three years. Escobar is not a particularly strong defender anywhere on the diamond, but he is at least capable of bouncing between a few spots on the dirt.
Although the defensive versatility is a nice bonus, the calling card with Escobar was his bat. He has been a higher-average hitter by measure of wRC + in each of the last three full seasons, unexpectedly morphing into a power threat late in his career. While he hit just 27 home runs over his first 1620 major league plate appearances, Escobar found another trend in that section in 2017. -Average ISO (slugging minus batting average) in all three full campaigns since then.
Escobar has overcome the increased impact without sacrificing much in the way of contact. He kept his strikeout rate around 20% over the course of his career, around three percentage points below the league mark. His contact and swinging strike rates have also hovered right around the average. And the switch-hitting escobar was sounded from both sides of the plate. Back to the start of 2018, he was a .283 / .333 / .482 batter against left-hand pitching; His .249 / .311 / .473 mark against right over the same stretch is not so impressive, but it is still around league average result of his weak side.
There’s a lot to like about Escobar’s offensive play, though he’s not completely without flaws. The native of Venezuela had a terrible .212 / .270 / .335 showing over 222 plate appearances in the 2020 truncated season. He bounced back to offer more typical .253 / .314 / .472 output between the D-Bucks and Brewers in 2021. This clearly erased some doubts about Escobar’s 2020 struggles, but he will turn 33 years old in January. And even at his best, Escobar has an aggressive approach that thumps down his walking rate and leads to percentages on the base around the league average.
More to come.