The New York Mets made their first move of the offseason on Monday. They claimed infielder/outfielder Robel Garcia off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds had claimed him off waivers from the Chicago Cubs back in July, but he did not make any appearances in Cincy.
Garcia is 27-year-old, and the Mets are making a gamble on his 2019 breakout season in Double A and Triple A with the Cubbies.
Between those two levels in 2019, Garcia hit .284/.369/.586 with 27 homers over 98 games.
Before that outburst, he was never known for his power. It happened for him, and the Cubs called him up in 2019.
However, he couldn’t make much noise during his brief stint in the bigs. He wasn’t bad, though, as he hit .208/.275/.500 with a .315 wOBA and a 93 wRC+, so he was close to league average with the stick.
The New York Mets are betting on a rebound. If the power gains he made in 2019 stick (before that year, his year-high in dingers was six, so he clearly implemented some changes) he has a chance to be a utilityman in the majors.
What are the Mets getting?
Garcia is capable of playing first base, second base, third base, and both outfield corners, so he could be a nice piece for the bench if everything comes together for him.
Per Jacob Resnick of MetsMerized.com, Garcia was released out of A ball in 2013, played in Italy for three years, and signed with the Cubs in 2018 after working out with the Italian national team in Arizona. He still has one option left going into the 2021 season.
There will be competition in the Mets’ roster for playing time, as all those positions have a clear-cut starter (Pete Alonso at first, Robinson Cano at the keystone, Jeff McNeil and JD Davis at the hot corner, and Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Dominic Smith in the outfield.)
In a correspondent move, the Mets designated outfielder Ryan Cordell for assignment. Cordell appeared in five games with the Mets on the 2020 season, and he went 1-for-8.