Mets To Sign Alejandro De Aza

The Mets are in agreement on a deal with free agent outfielder Alejandro De Aza, and fans across New York are outraged. The deal is reportedly for one year worth $5.75 million, with an additional $1.25 in incentives.

Let me start off by saying that, once again, I will provide the unpopular opinion in that I like this signing.

Mets fans can complain about it all they want, but the front offices’ restricted available funds is a reality that needs to be accepted. Standards must be lowered for free agency in Queens—until the expenses of Bobby Bonilla and Bernie Madoff are paid off at least. That being said, the Mets absolutely overpaid for De Aza. The guy was designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles last year—after which his season was nothing short of average—and now he has a potential to take $7 million from a financially inept team? The deal is poor for the Mets, but the thought is spot on.

De Aza has always been a favorite of mine. He has shown potential, but has never replicated his 17 homer, 20 stolen base 2013 season with the Chicago White Sox. He batted .292 in a Red Sox uniform last year, and finished with a respectable .262 on the year following a deadline trade to the San Francisco Giants.

 

De Aza is a career .274 hitter from the left side of the plate, giving the Mets an attractive platoon option with Juan Lagares. His WAR has decreased every year since 2012, when he topped off at 2.7 and bottomed out at 1.2 last year. He hasn’t played center field regularly since 2013, when he was a liability in the field, owning a -18 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). He patrolled left field for the majority of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, when he had a slightly more respectable -8 DRS.

What De Aza lacks in the field can be made up at the plate. His key is, and always has been, to get on base. He doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of power, hitting a maximum of 9 home runs in a given season, excluding 2013. However, he has had 15+ stolen bases four times in his major league career. On Base Percentage, important to any speedster, has been his strong suit—never once dipping below .310 since his second year with the Florida Marlins.

All-in-all, this is a good depth move for the Mets. I think the fans that thought Cespedes would be re-signed are naïve and are asking for too much. Sure, the Mets are coming off a World Series appearance and should presumably have money to spend—but the fact of the matter is, for one reason or another, they don’t. And if fans can’t accept that, they need to take a trip over to the Bronx, because quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing the moaning and groaning from fans. The offseason moves thus far have put the Mets in far better shape going into 2016 than 2015, and, if my memory serves me correctly, they did pretty darn well in the latter. If the season calls for it, I absolutely trust Sandy Alderson to pull the trigger at the trade deadline—in fact, the salary flexibility from not signing the Jason Heyward’s and Yoenis Cespedes’ of the league will come in handy then.

Where this leaves the offseason, I’m not quite sure. They got their lefty out of their bullpen in Jerry Blevins, their middle infield-duo in Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker, and now their platoon center fielder in De Aza. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another reliever signing—and with the money they saved from not re-signing Cespedes, I would guess they’re right in the mix for high-end names like Tyler Clippard and Greg Holland. To many fans’ disappointment, I wouldn’t rule out a Bobby Parnell reunion, either.

Where we stand now, this is how I’d configure the opening day lineup, in contrast to last years:

2015 Lineup

  1. Curtis Granderson-RF
  2. David Wright-3B
  3. Lucas Duda-1B
  4. Michael Cuddyer-LF
  5. Daniel Murphy-2B
  6. Juan Lagares-CF
  7. Travis d’Arnaud-C
  8. Wilmer Flores-SS
  9. Bartolo Colon-P

Bench: Kirk Nieuwenhuis-OF, Anthony Recker-C, John Mayberry Jr.-OF, Ruben Tejada-SS

2016 Lineup

  1. Alejandro De Aza-CF
  2. Neil Walker-2B
  3. David Wright-3B
  4. Curtis Granderson-RF
  5. Travis d’Arnaud-C
  6. Lucas Duda-1B
  7. Michael Conforto-LF
  8. Asdrubal Cabrera-SS
  9. Matt Harvey-P

Bench: Kevin Plawecki-C, Wilmer Flores-INF, Ruben Tejada-INF, Juan Lagares-OF, Kirk Nieuwenhuis-OF

 

 

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2 comments

  1. tomefran2015

    Good stuff Matt…DeAza signing is OK, but I wish it was Piazza instead lol…My lineup would have Conforto batting 3rd, Grandy 4th, Wight 5th, Duda 6th, d’Arnaud 7th. I still think Laguares will be in center, and I wish they could find a cleanup hitter with real presence…What I don’t like is that they are such a different team than last year now, I hope the chemistry from last year carries over. They were such a tight clubhouse a year ago, and as a result they were resilient. It’s gotta be a concern.

    Like

    • Matt

      I think Conforto will find himself batting third at sometime this upcoming season. Doubt management will drop Wright in the lineup, but think it might be wise to do so. Duda and d’Arnaud are more or less a wash for me. The chemistry is a big concern for me too. Even when they were losing, the core chemistry was that of a winning ball club, and I’m not sure how the new guys will fit in. Very solid point

      Like

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