According to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, the Mets will probably look for a power bat in left field and look for a right handed bat at first base to platoon with Daniel Murphy.
While the Mets know they need to get an upgrade in power in left field or first base, I get the sense it will be in the outfield. There’s little sense blocking prospect Ike Davis by signing a first baseman to a multi-year deal. I’m told the Mets likely will trade for a righty-hitting first baseman with a short-term commitment to pair with Daniel Murphy in 2010.
While it’s not an awful idea, it really depends on who the bat in leftfield ends up being. If we get Jason Bay or Matt Holliday I can live with the idea, but if it ends up being one of the lower tier options like Randy Winn or Marlon Byrd, then I’m not sure we accomplished anything.
One available bat that might do the trick at first base is Mark DeRosa.
DeRosa was in the midst of a solid season for the Cleveland Indians and was later traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished the season with 23 homeruns and 78 RBI with an OPS of ,752. However, when you look at his splits, which I posted below, DeRosa has put up some impressive numbers against left handed pitching.
|2009 Batting Splits|
His OPS against lefties is over .200 points higher than righties at a very impressive .928. His homeruns per at-bats ratio is nearly three times higher against southpaws and he sports a magnificent .587 slugging percentage.
I lobbied hard for the Mets to sign Mark DeRosa back in June when I believed he could have helped out at shortstop, first base and even some left field. In June I wrote,
DeRosa would be very high on my list simply because he has the power we desperately need right now, and if Delgado ever gets back, DeRosa can simply shift to another position like left field. He would also be able to give David Wright a day off and fill in at third base if necessary. He’s enjoying a power spike in the last two seasons and is in the midst of another solid season. Has a solid reputation as clubhouse guy and can play all four infield positions as well as corner outfield. He would look great batting second or fifth in the Mets lineup.
The New Jersey native earned $5.5 million last year and at 35 years old will probably get no more than a 1 or 2 year offer.
If the Mets only intend to acquire a right handed bat to platoon with Murphy, I prefer DeRosa for the following reasons:
- It wouldn’t require a long term commitment.
- His cost would not be prohibitive.
- We wouldn’t have to give up any players to acquire him.
- His versatility could help at other positions.
- He would be a solid weapon off the bench late in a game as pinch hitter.
I see very little if any downside to getting DeRosa. We could use his intensity in the clubhouse and he knows how to play the game the right way, a quality that was in very short supply last season.