Though there are just 18 days until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie, the New York Mets still have some holes to fill around the diamond.
This past week, the team re-upped with veteran Jose Reyes on a one-year pact, but could feasibly add another body into the fold to round out the infield. A name that has been linked to the Mets this offseason is New Jersey native Todd Frazier.
However, if the Mets could theoretically add one more big name, who would have the greater impact? Frazier, or a pitcher, let’s say someone like Alex Cobb?
Let’s weigh what both could bring to the team, starting with the former.
The big knock on the Toms River, New Jersey native is his low batting average. However, he more than makes up for it by providing some pop in the middle of the lineup, while being able to get on base.
The 31-year-old split the 2017 season between the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees, appearing in 147 games and hitting to a .213/.344/.428 clip with 27 homers and 76 RBI. He also had a 108 wRC+ and .335 wOBA in 576 plate appearances.
However, what I really like about Frazier is the steady glove he would provide at third base. In just over 1,100 innings at the hot corner in 2017, Frazier was good for 10 DRS and logged a 6.7 UZR.
Coupled with Jay Bruce, bringing Frazier into the locker room would also be a big boost for a team that is greatly filled with young players. Plus, he will likely end up signing a shorter-term contract which could be appealing to the Mets.
It would help round out the offense, give them some potency in the middle of the lineup and give the team a much needed boost. However, last year it was made vividly clear that the issue was pitching.
Now let’s talk about Cobb.
Cobb was actually reportedly offered a three-year deal in the $42 million range by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason, which he turned down, according to David Kaplan of NBC Sports.
With the market as slow moving as it has been and owners largely refusing to bend, I wonder if Cobb wishes he could turn back time.
I digress. With the right-hander still a free agent and Spring Training right around the corner, I wonder if the Mets could snatch him up for a team-friendly contract.
Cobb finished last season with a 12-10 record, 3.66 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 4.16 FIP, and 128 strikeouts in 179 1/3 innings pitched over the course of 29 starts.
While his career 3.50 ERA might suggest he would be likely to receive a bigger contract, Cobb has failed to ever accumulate 200 innings pitched in a season and has already had Tommy John Surgery, which is why some teams might be a little reluctant to pursue him.
However, he did log 179.0 innings last season, which would have been second only to Jacob deGrom on the team. If the pitching can stay healthy mostly, Cobb could provide the team a nice piece to lengthen the rotation and give them a quality No. 3 guy.
What is perhaps most appealing to me about Cobb is that in his four full big league seasons, he has notched at least 10 wins every year.
It’s no secret the Mets will be relying heavily on having a healthy corps of pitching to lead them back to the promised land, and bringing in another arm is never a bad idea.
With that being said, though, I turn the question over to you. Who would you rather have and who would make a bigger impact? Todd Frazier or Alex Cobb?