Escobar, 33, saw some big improvement at the plate in 2015 after being acquired by the Nationals, easily eclipsing his 93 wRC+ with the Rays in 2014 and posting a 120 wRC+ with the Nats.
A former second-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, Escobar batted .314 with a .375 on-base percentage to go with 25 doubles, nine home runs, 56 RBI and 75 runs scored in 591 plate appearances.
Escobar, was once considered a superior defensive shortstop with great range, soft hands and a solid arm, but he has regressed dramatically at shortstop where he committed 16 errors for the Rays in 2014 and finished last among all qualified shortstops in Defensive Runs Scored (DRS) with -24.
The Nationals opted to keep Escobar exclusively at third base last season, but the results were very poor as he looked uncomfortable, lacked range, and finished the year with -11 DRS and a -7.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.
So if you’re looking for a defensive upgrade at shortstop and a player who could backup David Wright at third base, Escobar probably isn’t that guy.
As I pointed out, Escobar had a solid season offensively for the Nats and his .375 OBP was a huge improvement over his .300, .332, and .324 OBP’s over the previous three seasons. Averaging a 3.0 WAR over his first seven seasons, Escobar posted a -0.2 WAR last season and a 1.9 in 2015.
Yunel is set to earn $7 million in 2016 and he has a $7 million team option ($1M buyout) for 2017.
When Escobar is happy within his working environment – as he was in DC – he is a productive player who can help your team offensively if not defensively. But he’s been a handful throughout his career.
He garnered himself a bad reputation before he landed with the Nats that included confrontations with several teammates, coaches, and managers. He was once slapped with a three-game suspension after wearing eye black during a Red Sox game with the words, “Tu Ere Maricon,” (You are a faggot) written in white.
To Escobar’s credit however, he vowed that he was a “changed man” after joining the Nats, and by all accounts he was a model teammate.
Bur regardless, he doesn’t fit what the Mets are looking for as they look to upgrade defensively up the middle. So I’m not sure that Sandy Alderson is going to deal what it would take to get him and risk improving our NL East rival at the expense of sabotaging our defense. At least that’s my opinion, what’s yours?