In their effort to add depth, experience and insurance, the Mets have reached an agreement to sign veteran first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, pending a physical, an industry source said Saturday night. The Braves, who were expected to and did in fact release Gonzalez, would take on the nearly $17 million owed to him in 2018.
Gonzalez likely won't be the opening day starter in NY, as the Mets recently signed Lucas Duda to a three-year, $39 million deal. Gonzalez was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Atlanta Braves earlier this offseason, but was released by his new team shortly thereafter. According to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman, the club may have some lingering reservations about Smith, who sunk to sub-Mendoza Line levels of production in his debut last season and would likely benefit from another go-round in Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets would owe him just $545,000, with Atlanta paying the rest.
The general consensus is that the team is not happy with the development of first baseman Dominic Smith, who only spent about six weeks in the majors after being called up alongside the organization's top prospect Amed Rosario. So basically, Gonzalez could be had on the free-agent market for an extremely low price. He was limited to 71 games last season because of a herniated disk in his back, and was left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' postseason roster.
If Smith keeps his starting job in 2018, he'll have to beat out Adrian Gonzalez, a five-time All-Star who figures to be hungry to rebound from an injury-plagued campaign. Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the season, and Smith, 22, struggled offensively, batting just.198. He hit.242 with a.287 on-base percentage, a.355 slugging percentage, three homers and 30 RBIs.
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