Steve Cohen and the New York Mets made moves on Wednesday and Friday night, adding three key names in Starling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar.
The additions help address the need for big bats, a bolstered outfield and fill a gap in the infield.
Marte, 33, was a target for the Mets during his days with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, the Mets inked him to a four-year, $78 million contract. The outfielder is coming off one of his best years after slashing .310/.383/.458 with a .841 OPS, 12 home runs and 47 stolen bases for the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics.
The two-time gold-glove winner will add strength to the outfield, likely taking center and shifting Brandon Nimmo to left field. At center, he finished in the 82nd percentile in outs above average in 2021.
Canha, 32, agreed to a two-year, $26.5 million contract with a third-year option. In 2021, he smashed 17 home runs with 61 RBI in 141 games with the A’s. He had a .231 BA and.746 OPS with a WAR of 2.5.
The Mets also penned 32-year-old Escobar to a two-year, $20 million contract. Escobar made his first All-Star team last season after batting .253/.314/.472 with 28 home runs and 90 RBI with the Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers. In his career, the switch-hitter has a slash line of .256/.309/.436 with 138 home runs over 11 seasons spanning four teams. He spent a majority of his time on the Minnesota Twins from 2012-18.
Escobar is versatile defensively and can play second or third base.
The signings guarantee the Mets spending $124.5 million on three players, likely causing the team to go past the luxury tax threshold with more moves likely on the way.
With three additional bats and a stronger outfield, the Mets need to shift focus to pitching, having lost out on ex-Met Steve Matz.
(Photo: The Associated Press)