The New York Mets saw an opportunity to make a worthwhile addition to their team this winter and they made one. So what’s all the fuss? Just kidding. At first glance, the Mets signing Adrian Gonzalez seemed like a joke. We had been waiting since November for a real move to be made and we get Adrian Gonzalez? Come on…
Then we saw the parameters of the contract and realized what Sandy Alderson had in mind. The Mets would only be on the hook for a slice of Gonzalez’ $22,357,000 2018 salary. The Atlanta Braves will be picking up $21.8 million of that hefty paycheck this season, and that made the Mets decision to bring in the 35-year-old a fairly easy one.
At his, let’s say, advanced age, expecting Gonzalez to be the player he was even a couple of years ago would be hasty. His last truly productive season was 2015 with Los Angeles. In 156 games A-Gon hit .275 with a beefy .830 OPS. His 28 HR and 90 RBI are in the neighborhood of his career 162-game averages (27 & 102, respectively).
So let’s take a look into the crystal ball and try to predict what Adrian Gonzalez’ future holds for the upcoming season. If all goes to plan, Gonzalez will get back to being productive at the plate (79 games last season, .242/.287/.355) and also become a mentor to the Mets’ young first baseman of the future, Dominic Smith.
Let’s assume Gonzo performs well for the New York Mets. Not 2009 Adrian Gonzalez, of course, but something resembling it at the very least.
If that pans out, then the Mets can give the grizzled-vet a respite once or twice a week and give Dom Smith a decent amount of at-bats while he learns the finer points of his craft from one of the best to do it over the last twenty years.
Now, if that plan falls apart in spring training and the Mets are left to scramble to put together a platoon at first, they’ll only be responsible for half-a-million dollars and they can put the failed project behind them.
But if Sandy (Crazy Like A Fox) Alderson strikes oil with this unconventional, outside-of-the-box pick-up, his legacy as the Mets general manager would soar towards the polluted Flushing skies quicker than Reyes going from home to third in 2006.