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Mets land Marte, Canha, Escobar

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The New York Mets had a busy Black Friday, landing three free agent position players

New York Mets v Boston Red Sox Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The New York Mets did some Black Friday shopping, with outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha and infielder Eduardo Escobar all agreeing to terms with the team.

Marte, a 33 year old who split the 2021 season between the Miami Marlins and the Oakland A’s, posting a .310/.383/.458 slash line while playing adequate defense in center field, landed a four year, $78 million deal. He is someone that the Texas Rangers reportedly had a level of interest in.

Canha, who turns 33 in February, had been with the Oakland A’s since being acquired by Oakland as a Rule 5 pick from the Miami Marlins (via the Colorado Rockies) in December, 2014. He can play all three outfield positions as well as first base, though he’s probably best suited for left field. A righthanded hitter, he had a career high 625 plate appearances in 2021 — the first time he’s crossed the 500 PA mark — slashing .231/.358/.387 while leading the majors in HBP. Canha got a two year, $26.5 million deal.

Escobar, who turns 33 in January, split the 2021 season between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers. He can play second base or third base, and rebounded from a bad 2020 season to slash .253/.314/.472 in 2021, putting up a 2.4 bWAR. Escobar got $20 million over two years.

These deals are, I think, pretty consistent with what these players were expected to land, and gives the Mets an infusion of solid-if-unspectacular veterans with some versatility. This also would seem to suggest the Mets expect there to be a universal DH in 2022, as, even with the expected departure of Michael Conforto, the team now has Marte and Canha joining Brandon Nimmo and Dom Smith as outfield options, while Escobar is part of an infield including Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and possibly Robinson Cano, while Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis are options in both the infield and the outfield. And the Mets, reportedly are still looking at potentially bringing Javier Baez back after he put up an 886 OPS in two months after they acquired him from the Chicago Cubs.

The Mets are reportedly now zeroing in on starting pitching, with Jon Gray, a potential Ranger target, apparently high on their list. Marcus Stroman, on the other hand, apparently is not high on their list, despite him having a very successful year for them. That news is via...Marcus Stroman.