While things are still not yet official between the New York Mets and Carlos Correa, the chances seemingly remain in the Mets’ favor that they will get Correa signed. As media and fans alike presume the Mets eventually get Correa under contract, it has most wondering what could come next.
Two key factors when analyzing the addition of Correa to the Mets are the position he will play, third base, where the Mets have some depth, to begin with. Also, the expensive cost of Correa that only boosts an already all-time pricey Mets payroll.
As a result of those two variables, one player to consistently get mentioned as logical for the Mets to move on from has been Eduardo Escobar.
Escobar only batted .240 on the season last year, played third base in 130 games where Correa would take over, and would help the Mets payroll if let go of with his $9.5 million salary.
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Two teams reportedly interested in Mets 3B Eduardo Escobar:
Recently, there have been some rumors shared on teams supposedly interested in Escobar. Per The Athletic MLB, the Detroit Tigers are seen as one team for Escobar. Also, recent buzz from the Miami Herald indicated that earlier on this offseason, the Miami Marlins were one team looking into Escobar.
If the Mets are looking to remove stress from their utterly enormous payroll, it is easy to see why they would look to move Escobar. However, if Steve Cohen is willing to spend whatever to win, the Mets should re-think the decision to ultimately trade Escobar.
The reason the Mets are having to sign Correa in the first place is that their offense down the stretch in 2022 was awful. However, over that span, Escobar happened to be their most consistent bat every day and, quite possibly, the best hitter the lineup had. Escobar batted an incredible .340 in September, with 33 hits throughout the month.
The Mets may have depth at third behind Correa in Brett Baty and Luis Guillorme, but from an offensive standpoint, Escobar offers unique value. Currently, the Mets’ potential right-handed designated hitters consist of Darin Ruf, Francisco Alvarez, and Mark Vientos. While there is talent, upside, and rightfully so, excitement with Alvarez and Vientos, there are still unknowns due to a lack of experience. From there, Ruf showed enough that he cannot be counted on and could very well be moved at some point to help the payroll.
Escobar, a switch-hitting bat, would be the Mets’ best designated hitter against left-handed pitching. Not only that, but another issue the Mets’ offense had throughout 2022 was their noticeable lack of power. Even in a down year, as shown by his .240 batting average, Escobar provided the Mets’ batting order with 20 home runs in 136 games. The Mets will need more home runs to get over the top in 2023, and Escobar, in a role closer to the bottom of the lineup, rounding it out with the addition of Correa, could offer the Mets some pop.
If it is strictly a business decision and the Mets do not want to get absolutely crushed by the luxury tax, while it would be disappointing, most would understand why Escobar would have to get dealt.
However, if the Mets are trying to create as deep and talented of a roster as possible to give themselves everything they need for a World Series next year, they should be careful before looking to move Escobar.