So let’s do a little comparison:

162 game averages for Player A:

  • 20 HR, 77 RBI, .256 AVG, .309 OBP, .436 SLG, .745 OPS

162 game averages for Player B:

  • 20 HR, 70 RBI, .267 AVG, .314 OBP, .440 SLG, .754 OPS

So Player A is Eduardo Escobar. The Mets have signed Escobar to a two year $20 million deal. Escobar is an interesting signing because he plays a lot of third base, some second base, and fills in wherever the heck else you need him, but he’s mainly a 3B/2B. He’s not a great fielder, but he had a very good season at the plate in ’21, hitting .253/.314/.472/.786 with 28 HR’s and 90 RBI’s for the Diamondbacks and Brewers. His numbers jumped up a touch for Milwaukee after he was thrust into a pennant race.

The question here is this: Who is he replacing? If he’s taking the role of Jonathan Villar … not so much Villar’s anticipated role of strict backup at the start of the season, but what his role morphed into with all the injuries, then it’s a good sign. That means there will be more signings to come, either in the form of Javy Baez’s return, or another middle infielder such as Marcus Semien. But if he’s coming in to replace Baez, who is apparently in contract talks with the Tigers, and if he’s the star of the free agent class, then of course the Mets are in trouble. I suppose Escobar was signed to be in a role to be determined, but would be useful in any scenario and direction. I feel like I say this every season, but if Escobar is only the first signing in a fruitful winter, then it’s an excellent signing. If he’s the only signing of note, then through no fault of Escobar’s, we’re doomed.

The one thing about Escobar is that even though he’s versatile in the field, he’s not known for his defense. Which brings me to Player B, who was very similar to Escobar as to what kind of player he is, in terms of versatility without being particularly great at any position in the field, though Escobar’s defensive numbers at third base seem less soul crushing than Player B, who is …

Wilmer Flores.

The Mets signed a switch hitting Wilmer Flores, basically. It’s not the worst thing in the world if his fielding his hidden behind his decent bat. Though, to my knowledge, Escobar has never cried on a major league baseball field. Hopefully playing for the Mets won’t cause him to do that for the first time.

This article first appeared on The Sports Daily and was syndicated with permission.

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