Mets May Want To Look At Evan Longoria As Backup Plan
One moment, Evan Longoria is a budding superstar. The next, Longoria is a player on an onerous contract the San Francisco Giants wish they didn’t obtain from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Putting that aside, let’s take a look at his level of production since joining the Giants.
Since 2018, Longoria has a 94 wRC+ and a 12 DRS. While his wRC+ is below average and ranks just 20th among qualified players, his DRS is third best in the majors over this time span. Overall, his 4.9 bWAR and 3.3 fWAR makes him a top 20 third baseman in the league.
Make no mistake, the offense is quite poor. However, part of that could be Oracle Park which is a nightmare for right-handed hitters. Longoria has been no exception.
In his career, Longoria is a .242/.293/.388 hitter at Oracle Park. That’s a paltry 83 wRC+. By and large, at best that’s the production of a Four-A player. More likely, that’s a player who is not even that good.
However, that’s only part of the story. Since joining the Giants, Longoria has been a .259/.314/.466 hitter, which equates to a 103 wRC+. By no means is that outstanding, but it’s a significant improvement over his home stats.
With Longoria’s glove, you can justify a 103 wRC+ at third. Assuming that’s the level of production you can get from him, the question turn becomes if it’s worth trading for him.
Before prejudging, there’s an important consideration. The third base market is absolutely barren. Right now, it’s really just Justin Turner, who is much more likely than not to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Beyond that, the Mets need a Plan C. No, Longoria isn’t preferable, but he’s a viable option. At a minimum, he’s a very good glove you can stick at third to help the pitching.
Perhaps, being removed from Oracle Park will awaken his bat. For what it’s worth, the team would probably look to have him hit no higher than seventh.
Essentially, what the Mets would be hoping for is the 2006 season Jose Valentin provided. Plug Longoria into a much better lineup, move him down the order, and just let him along for the ride.
At one year $14.7 million, he’s not going to require anything of value in return. Even then, the San Francisco Giants might eat salary to move him. Maybe they’ll take back a similarly bad contract in Jeurys Familia and call it a done deal.
If Longoria isn’t going to cost anything but money, he’s worth pursuing. The third base free agent market is barren, and at a minimum, the Mets would get excellent defense. Yes, explore other options more heavily, but don’t forget to come back to this one.