The Sandy Alderson and Billy Eppler Mets strive to have a type: Good guys who can move around.
After a season in which their depth failed them and their clubhouse may have, too, the three hitters they introduced Wednesday were all players who could help around the field and also, the club hopes, off of it.
Those were the qualities that the Mets believe run through, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar, who were introduced Wednesday.
“Adding these three players really solidifies our lineup,” Eppler, the GM, said in a news conference that did not quite have the attention of Max Scherzer’s. “It provides positional flexibility and depth and really allows [us] to take on a lot of the elements that get introduced over the course of a 162-game season.”
Marte only played center field last season, but his legs (47 total steals) and defensive reputation would open up any outfield spot for him. Eppler did not want to commit to whether Marte would be taking Brandon Nimmo’s spot in center or whether he would move to left, but that is part of the point: The Mets envision being able to move Nimmo and Marte around.
Both Marte and Canha said they will play “wherever.”appeared at each outfield spot last season with Oakland as well as filling in at first base, which allowed the A’s to creatively find ways to shoehorn him into lineups. In 625 plate appearances, Canha slugged 17 home runs and recorded a .358 on-base percentage.
If the Mets lose any infielder for any stretch of time, the 32-year-old Escobar could fill in. In his 2021 season split between Arizona and Milwaukee, Escobar played each infield spot (though shortstop just once) while hitting 28 homers.
“I”m the type of player that, as long as I see my name in the lineup, I’m fine,” Escobar said through interpreter Alan Suriel.
Eppler said in conversations with the three, he has told them they will “move around a lot.” The Mets’ front office is also asking them to, essentially, be nice.
The 2021 Mets might ultimately be remembered for the thumbs-down gesture, when they turned on their own fans amid frustration of mounting losses and mounting boos. There also was the Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil fight, a public sign something was amiss.
The Mets believe they have found personalities that will mesh better with the returning players.
“I think the [clubhouse] dynamic changed during the course of the season,” team president Alderson said. “That’s not unusual when a team is generally winning versus when they’re not as successful.
“What I’m hopeful is those who were new last year become more comfortable and accommodating of the demands that are placed on them in a place like New York.”
Scherzer said part of the reason he was excited to be a Met was because of, who is known as a fun guy to have around. Canha and Marte played a half-season together with the A’s and are excited to reunite.
Being helpful in the clubhouse is “definitely an element and a criteria that we look for,” Eppler said. “How that group integrates, supports each other, that’s been very important to me. One of the things I love to talk about is: Will our players make their teammates more significant than they are?”
The Mets, who not only had clubhouse issues but recently have employed the disgraced Mickey Callaway and Jared Porter, as well as Porter’s interim GM replacement, Zack Scott — who was arrested on a drunk driving charge — understand how important culture can be.
They will hope their personality scouting in the clubhouse will be improved, too.
#Mets #high #hopes #Starling #Marte #Mark #Canha #Eduardo #Escobar