Bolster faces offense with Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Kanha


During Billy Effler’s last general manager job with Los Angeles Angels, there were some big stars on his list with too many deals, but nothing else. The Angels collapsed under that sloping structure, and the lack of depth prevented his new team, the Mets.

“Personally, this is one of the biggest achievements I’ve made in the game of baseball over the last 10 years, the importance of depth,” Effler said recently when the Mets introduced him as their new general manager. “I’m sometimes, when it’s been tested, I’m suffered similarly when there is no place for you to go back. And, frankly, doing business is not easy.

The Mets skipped the trading market on Friday in adding the depth that Effler wants. The team agreed to the terms of the contract with three free agents: center fielder Starling Marte, outfielder / first paceman Mark Kanha and infielder Eduardo Escobar. The contracts were confirmed by an unnamed baseball official because players had to send fitness to make the contracts official.

Martே, 33, signed a four-year, $ 78 million contract with Miami and Auckland after a season that could be the highlight of his career. He led the majors in stolen sites, 47, while batting 12 Home runs with .310 runs and career best.383 on-base percentage. Marte was Pittsburgh’s all-star in 2016, but was suspended for the 80-game the following year after testing positive for the steroid nandrolone.

Kanha, 32, has been a versatile role player for Auckland since 2015. He has had a 377 on-pass percentage in the last three seasons and scored 27, 17 home runs in the Majors in hit-by-pitches last year. . Kanha made at least 20 starts in three outfield spots last season and has started 81 careers on the first floor.

Escobar, 32, formed his first All-Star squad last season before Arizona traded him to Milwaukee. He had his best season in 2019 (batting a 269 average, 35 homers and 118 runs) but at .309, he had a relatively low carrier at base percentage. A switch-hitter, Escobar started every 11-year career with Minnesota in every infield position; He was described as the Jonathan Villar type, with high power and low speed.

Investing in Marte is, of course, very significant in years and dollars. This protects the Mets against the possible distortion of right fielder Michael Conforto, a free agent, and theoretically provides them with a better defender at center than Brandon Nimmo, who could turn a corner.

However, according to Sport Info Solutions, the Mets were better than the average team last season saved by defensive runs by center fielders, and some players older than Martே will last longer on center field. Of the major league players aged 33 or over last season, only the Yankees’ Brett Gardner started more than 70 games at center field.

After losing free agent Steven Mats (who had a four-year $ 44 million contract with St. Louis) and Nova Sinterkard and Aaron Loop to the Angels free agency, the Mets will now turn their attention to pitching. . Top free agent openers Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Kevin Cosman and Marcus Stroman led the Mets in starts and innings last season.


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