J.D. Davis

Mets Probably Don’t Need Another Reliever

Like it always seems to be, the New York Mets entered the offseason with the need to rebuild their bullpen. As the Mets entered Spring Training without Seth Lugo, there seemed to be a renewed emphasis on the need to add more relievers to the bullpen. However, when you break it down, the Mets may not need to actually add another arm.

Typically speaking, we will see the Mets carry a 12 man pitching staff which means seven relievers. Right off the bat, the Mets are set at closer with Edwin Diaz. He will certainly be joined in the bullpen by recent signees Trevor May and Aaron Loup. That trio right there takes care of the Mets closer, the eighth inning, and their LOOGY.

That leaves them having to figure out the other four relievers in the bullpen. Based upon the moves of Brodie Van Wagenen, three of those spots are occupied by Dellin Betances, Miguel Castro, and Jeurys Familia. This trio could very well become the core of what might be an excellent bullpen.

As previously detailed, Betances induced very weak contact last season, and he would miss a lot of bats. Looking at Baseball Savant, there was also a lot of promise with Jeurys Familia‘s season as he also induced a lot of weak contact, and he had terrific velocity. What really hampered each of their seasons was a mixture of walks and plain old bad defense.

Betances had a 1.56 GB/FB last year, but despite the weak contact, he yielded a .353 BABIP. Familia didn’t have the same issues with ground balls turning into outs as Betances, but he did see a career worst walk rate come back to bite him. Keep in mind, in only two of the 10 appearances where he didn’t walk a batter did the opposition score off of him.

Both relievers will be helped by the improved infield defense we should see with Francisco Lindor at short. Also, while we may see J.D. Davis start at third, in all likelihood, he should be removed late in games for Luis Guillorme thereby making the Mets defense elite for these groundball pitchers who induce weak contact.

Keep in mind, while Betances and Familia have typically had higher walk numbers, neither had really posted numbers that poor in their careers. Part of that could easily be explained by them trying to regain their prior form in a disjointed offseason. Really, both pitchers needed to hone a number of things, and the pandemic really cost them the opportunity to work with Jeremy Hefner like they needed.

Given a normal offseason and Spring Training, it is reasonable to assume both could be reasonably relied upon to at least easily handle the middle innings. Perhaps, they could eventually be reasonably be able to be relied upon for the seventh and eighth. In fact, we should be able to see them close a game or two here and there.

In terms of Castro, no one throws it harder. Really, that makes him a bit of a wild card not too dissimilar to what Hansel Robles used to be for the Mets. If you can harness him, you have an elite reliever. If you don’t you have an interesting mop up reliever. Either which way, he is out of options, and he is going to get every chance for the Mets to be the team to finally unlock his abilities.

When you add Lugo to these relievers, this bullpen could be the envy of every team in the majors. The question for the Mets is what to do in his absence. In terms of that, the Mets have plenty of options.

Joey Lucchesi profiles as a potential elite reliever. We have seen Robert Gsellman be elite out of the bullpen for stretches. If nothing else, we know he can absorb innings. The same could also be true for Jordan Yamamoto. The Mets also have a number of interesting young relievers to throw at the problem with Jacob Barnes, Yennsy Diaz, Sam McWilliams, Sean Reid-Foley, Drew Smith, Stephen Tarpley, and Daniel Zamora. Of course, there is also Mets fan favorite Jerry Blevins here on a minor league deal.

The moral of the story is the Mets have the talent in the bullpen. The real challenge is going to be for Hefner to work with them to get the most out of them. Then, perhaps the even bigger challenge is for Luis Rojas to deploy them properly. Overall, if Hefner and Rojas are successful, the Mets will get the most out of what is an extremely talented group, and we will begin to wonder why exactly we were so overly concerned about adding a big name reliever in the offseason.

Mets Can’t Undo Great Offseason By Putting J.D. Davis At Third

Look across the diamond. The New York Mets are a significantly better baseball team. It’s not just better in terms of the rotation and starting lineup, but it’s also better in terms of their burgeoning depth. Despite that, somehow, the Mets failed to address their biggest need of the offseason – third base.

J.D. Davis is the incumbent third baseman, and simply put, he has done nothing but prove he has no business playing the position at the Major League level. In his career, he has played 770.0 innings there, and he has amassed a -19 DRS. As previously put in perspective, that was worse than what Wilmer Flores posted as the position, and there was near unanimous consent Flores should never man the position again.

The Mets were well aware of this, and that’s why they seemingly went out of their way this offseason to say they were going to upgrade at third base. He said the position was “up in the air,” and the team went on what seemed to be wild goose chases for Kris Bryant and Eugenio Suarez. For all we know, they are still doing all they can to pry those players loose from their current teams.

When the Mets were unable to acquire a real third baseman before the start of Spring Training, Luis Rojas was reluctant to name anyone as the team’s third baseman. That would appear to be an indictment of Davis, especially with second base becoming vacant with Robinson Cano‘s season long suspension.

At least on the surface, it would seem Davis would keep his slot at third with Jeff McNeil becoming the everyday third baseman. However, that’s not entirely possible with Davis not being able to play the position. In fact, Davis is literally the worst fielder in the Major Leagues.

Over the past two seasons, Davis has amassed a combined -29 DRS. That includes a -17 DRS at third and a -12 DRS in left field. Just to put in perspective how bad that is, he is the only player to appear TWICE among the worst 30 fielders over the past two seasons. As we’ve seen, the Mets just can’t hide him in the field. That goes double for third.

Making Davis at third even worse is the current complexion of the Mets pitching staff. Overall, this is a heavy ground ball pitching staff. To wit, here are their GB/FB ratios since 2017:

Looking at the make-up of the Mets top eight starting pitching options, seven of them induce batters to hit the ball on the ground. That makes having a good defensive infield more of an imperative. Yes, Francisco Lindor goes a long way towards doing that, but by playing Davis next to him, the Mets are effectively neutralizing Lindor’s effect.

Digging deeper, the Mets are going to play Pete Alonso at first where he is not a good fielder. That means the Mets are going to trot out a ground ball staff and have the Major League worst defense at the corners. Really, this does not remotely make any sense whatsoever. Really, it’s ponderous the Mets would even consider going in this direction.

When you look at it from that perspective, Davis cannot play third everyday. It only serves to hurt the team. Ideally, the Mets would pull off that blockbuster we’ve been waiting for them to pull off all offseason to acquire a third baseman, or they need to play Luis Guillorme everyday at second pushing McNeil to third, where he is a better fielder.

No matter what the Mets do, they simply cannot make Davis the everyday third baseman. They’ve done far too much this offseason, and they’ve built their team a certain way. Allowing Davis and his defense, or lack thereof, diminish or neutralize it, makes zero to no sense.

Simply Amazin – Don’t Freak Out

I had the privilege of appearing on the Simply Amazin’ podcast with the great Tim Ryder. During the podcast, names discussed include but are not limited to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Rick Porcello, Francisco Lindor, J.D. Davis, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Valentine, David Wright, Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, Alex Cora, Luis Guillorme, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Jonathan Villar, James McCann, J.T. Realmuto, James Paxton, Trevor Rosenthal, Aaron Loup, Mike Piazza, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Jose Martinez, Alex Gonzalez, James Loney, Moises Alou, John Olerud, Davey Johnson, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Corey Oswalt, Luis Rojas, Jeremy Hefner, Jim Eisenreich, Alex Fernandez, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Darryl Strawberry, Albert Almora, and more

Please take a listen.

Explaining Just How Terrible J.D. Davis Is At Third Base

MLB reporter Anthony DiComo and SNY reporter Steve Gelbs voiced at how perplexed they were about the push to have anyone but J.D. Davis at third base. Because of that, we need to illustrate exactly why Davis “must be replaced immediately at any cost.”

Wilmer Flores while a Mets folk hero was a terrible defensive player with the Mets, and he was grossly miscast as a shortstop. In 1313.2 career innings at short, he has a -10 DRS. Flores was also terrible at third with a -16 DRS in 1116.2 career innings at the position.

There has been a debate amongst Mets fans about just how good or bad of a player Lucas Duda was. However, Mets fans were unanimous Duda was a terrible outfielder. In 893.2 innings in left, Duda had a -15 DRS.

Mike Piazza was one of the greatest players to ever don a Mets uniform. In fact, he was only the second player to wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. As great as he was with the Mets, he was that horrible at first with a -10 DRS in 517.2 innings there.

Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher Mets fans seemed to be all over in terms of his defense due to his inability to throw out base runners, had a -13 DRS in 3162.9 innings behind the plate for the Mets.

This is a sampling of some of the worst and most criticized defensive players in Mets history. This is also a sampling of Mets players who were well out of position, and they struggled as a result. All of them were better than Davis is at third.

In 770.0 innings at third, Davis is a -19 DRS.

Keep in mind, that’s purportedly his natural position. Despite it being his natural position, he is worse at third than Flores was at third or short. Davis is worse at third than Piazza was at first or d’Arnaud was behind the plate. He is worse at third than Duda was in left field. That is exactly why there is this sudden push to say the Mets cannot enter the 2021 season with Davis at third.

The Mets have done a lot of good this offseason, but their job is not done. You can’t make all of these moves and knowingly put a player at third who makes Flores look like a good defender out there. It just can’t happen.

 

Todd Frazier Worth A Minor League Deal

When you look to build a roster, your bench should be reflective of what you are missing from your everyday players. For the New York Mets as constructed, they are missing a good defender at third, and they have a heavy left-handed hitting lineup. Ideally, a bench player for the Mets should be a strong defender at third, and it should be someone who can hit left-handed pitchers.

Like it or not, that describes Todd Frazier.

Since originally signing with the Mets, Frazier has been a 2 OAA for the Mets at third base and a 3 DRS overall. While this isn’t the plus defender he once was, Frazier remains a strong defender at the position, which puts him light years ahead of their incumbent third baseman J.D. Davis.

As a hitter, Frazier has not been the same player since he posted a 117 OPS+ in 2015. Over parts of the last three seasons with the Mets, Frazier had a below average 98 OPS+ with a 97 OPS+ overall. Looking behind those numbers on Baseball Savant, Frazier is a player with declining exit velocities and barrels.

All told, we see with Frazier he is a soon to be 35 year old baseball player. Before he signed with the Mets, he was a relative iron man. Since 2018, he has been nicked up here and there. With that also comes a player with years of experience who has been a leader in the clubhouse. In fact, when the Mets re-acquired him at the trade deadline last year, the Mets players were happy he was returning:

However, he does provide more value than just a good glove and a good guy in the clubhouse. While he has faltered against right-handed pitching, he continues to thrive against left-handed pitching. Since 2018, Frazier has a 95 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and a 105 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. That would make him a strong platoon option and late defensive replacement.

In his career, he he has been strong coming off the bench hitting .286/.389/.494 in 77 career games entering the game as substitute. With the Mets, we have also seen him have the penchant for a clutch late inning homer:

Looking at what Frazier has provided the Mets and his positive presence in the clubhouse, he is someone who merits consideration. Seeing what he could provide the team in 2021, he does deserve a closer look from this front office.

That said, he is still 35 and still in decline. Because of that, he really doesn’t merit anything beyond a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training. If he performs well then, he should get a role on the Opening Day roster. If not, he can certainly go down to Syracuse as depth. That is, if he is willing to do so.

Overall, whether fans like it or not, Frazier could make a positive contribution to the Mets in 2021. However, that would only be in a very limited role, one which he has been unaccustomed for much of his career. All told, if he’s willing to accept a minor league deal to return and to stay closer to home like he wants, it is something that could be mutually beneficial to both sides.

DH Or No DH, Mets Need a Third Baseman And Center Fielder

The position of the New York Mets seems to be defense only matters when you can have a designated hitter. If you have no DH, then you need to shoehorn in as many bats as you can into the lineup. In other words, the Mets are purposefully going to put out a sub-optimal defense and torpedo their pitching staff because of one position.

It’s beyond ridiculous.

Brandon Nimmo has averaged a -4 DRS in center over the past three seasons, and that is despite his not having played more than 350.1 innings at the position in any one year. Dominic Smith has averaged -2 DRS in left over the past three seasons despite not having played more than 219.0 innings in any season. J.D. Davis has averaged a -6 DRS at third over the past three seasons despite not having played more than 269.1 innings there in a season.

All told, these three players have proven themselves ill suited to handle the positions they are currently slated to play. What is maddening when you look at Nimmo and Smith is they are actually quite good at their real positions. Nimmo has a 5 DRS as a left fielder in his career, and Smith, after taking away his rookie season, has a 0 DRS as a first baseman.

It just seems bizarre to purposefully put these players in a position to purposefully fail. Nimmo belongs in left, Smith belongs at first, and Davis belongs on the bench. If you are a team operating responsibly, that is what you should unequivocally do.

Obviously, this is not taking into account Pete Alonso. Frankly, the Mets not addressing this logjam was their way of ignoring Alonso. In reality, the Mets are carrying three first baseman with him, Smith, and Davis. That’s three players for one position. That number grows to four when you look at Jose Martinez, who was signed to a minor league deal.

The Mets unwillingness to move one of those players this offseason has created a very real problem with this roster. Unless it is all a smokescreen, which it very well might, the actual plan is to put three first baseman on the field everyday and put a left fielder in center. They then hope this plan which always fails doesn’t fail again this time.

For some reason, that is a Sandy Alderson tactic. In the early years of Citi Field, we saw him jam Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Daniel Murphy into the lineup. We also saw him try Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Granderson in center rather than get a player who could actually go other there and handle the position on an everyday basis. At this point, you just wonder how much this was an accident and how much this is his actual plan.

Certainly, you can and should argue Alonso, Nimmo, and Smith need to play everyday. No one will argue with that proposition. However, they can’t do it all on the same roster. Center field is far too important of a defensive position.

You have to go back to 2012 and 2014 with the San Francisco Giants winning with Angel Pagan to find a team who won with a bad defensive center fielder. Before that, you have to go to Johnny Damon with the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Before that, there isn’t publicly available DRS information. All told, in this century, there is really just three seasons teams won without an at least decent center fielder.

If you are operating a baseball team, you can’t look at purposefully punt center field defense. It’s even worse by putting a first baseman next to the center fielder in left. Then, to make sure you’ve done all you can do to screw things up, you throw a first baseman at third in front of the third baseman in left. It’s ridiculous.

Really, there is no way the Mets can go forward with this roster to begin the season. They need to add an actual third baseman and an actual center fielder. If one of Alonso or Smith has to sit, so be it. That’s the position the Mets put themselves in. If you need to move one of them in a deal to address a need, do it, but only so long as it is a good deal.

All told, it is poor planning and team building to purposefully put out a terrible defensive outfield. We saw in 2020 how much that can completely derail a season. We’ve seen it other times in Mets history. Whether or not there is a DH, the Mets still need to find everyday players at third and center.

Period.

Rick Porcello Reunion With Mets Makes Sense

After needlessly trading Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays an missing out on Trevor Bauer, the Mets are left looking for a depth starting pitcher. Ideally, they want a pitcher who can both allow them to have David Peterson start the year in Triple-A and push Joey Lucchesi when Noah Syndergaard is ready to return to the rotation.

There are still a few options available. There is James Paxton who is coming back from injury and seems eternally injury prone. There is also Taijuan Walker who has had poor velocity and spin on his pitches. The Mets are also talking with Jake Arrieta who has not been the same since leaving the Chicago Cubs.

Seeing the lengths to which the Mets are going to find that one extra starter, you do wonder how long it will take before they consider bringing back Rick Porcello. While it may not be a popular decision, it would be a decision that would make a lot of sense for the Mets.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way – Porcello was bad in 2020. In 12 starts, Porcello was 1-7 with a 5.64 ERA and a 1.508 WHIP. He had a career worst 75 ERA+, and he allowed a 11.3 hits per nine. By nearly every measure, this was the worst season of Porcello’s career, and for many, this happening with Porcello being 31 was an indication he was effectively done being a Major League caliber starting pitcher.

Before addressing that, we should consider his August 5 start. In that game, Porcello earned his one and only win as a member of the Mets. Over seven innings, he would allow one earned on five hits while walking none and striking out four. Aside from his winning that game, there was something else unique and important about that game. In that game, the Mets had Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez up the middle, and they were flashing the leather.

That game was an important reminder Porcello is a sinkerball pitcher who pitches to contact. Really, he wasn’t a different pitcher in that game as he was in most of the season. The real difference was the defense behind him.

Again, the Mets defense was terrible in most of 2020. In fact, their -22 DRS was the fifth worst in the majors. That’s one of the reasons why Mets pitchers had a .316 BABIP which was the fourth worst in the majors. All told, the Mets defense was horrible, and it severely impacted not just their pitching, but it really derailed their season. It’s at this point we should revisit Porcello’s 2020 season.

Despite the poor results, Porcello had a 3.33 FIP which is indicative of him pitching SIGNIFICANTLY better than his final 2020 results indicated. Over at Baseball Savant, Porcello posted very good exit velocity numbers and was middle of the pack in terms of hard hit rate. Despite that, he yielded an absurdly high .373 BABIP, which was not just the worst of his career by a preposterous margin, but it was also well above his .308 career mark.

Keep in mind, Porcello generated the weakest contact he ever has in his career, and he did that in what was a Mets schedule facing a number of very good offensive teams. He also had the best HR/9 and HR/FB rate of his career. All told, there was absolutely no reason why Porcello should have had a poor year. He induced weak contact, and he was keeping the ball in the ballpark.

Well, no reason except for the atrocious Mets defense. Keep in mind most of the batted balls against him went to the left side of the Mets infield. As we know, that defense has been significantly improved with the addition of Francisco Lindor‘s Gold Glove caliber defense at shortstop, and it will be further improve by having literally anyone other than J.D. Davis at third base.

Suddenly, not matter who is on the mound, those soft balls hit on the left side of the infield will be the sure outs they should have been. Also, those 50/50 balls will suddenly turn in the Mets favor. Maybe, just maybe, they will start getting to some of those balls few teams could ever turn into outs. Put another way, this is now a Mets team built to allow Porcello to be a successful starter.

Keeping in mind Porcello grew up a Mets fan and would be driven for redemption, a reunion could make a lot of sense. This is a Mets team built for him defensively, and this is a rotation in need of just one more starter to sure it up. All told, the Mets should now be looking towards Porcello instead of considering the likes of Arrieta.

Mets Still Need A Third Baseman

Back to our regularly scheduled programming, the New York Mets still do not have a third baseman for the 2021 season. With the Nolan Arenado trade their options are dwindling.

We are not sure as to the realistic chances are of obtaining either Kris Bryant or Eugenio Suarez in a trade. We also know Justin Turner is seeking too many years, and his preference is to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Mets aren’t in on Kolten Wong, and there aren’t any more free agent third base options available. The end result is the Mets running out of time and options to fulfill their massive third base vacancy.

And yes, it’s a massive vacancy as J.D. Davis has proven wholly incapable of playing that or any other defensive position. As we saw last year, without a juiced ball or overly inflated BABIP, he’s not worth playing on an everyday basis.

The end result of all of this means Luis Guillorme is probably the Mets best bet. He’s shown he can be a good everyday option at second base. While some may question his bat still, his defense there is elite and can carry his offense.

This means Jeff McNeil moves to third. Last year aside, he’s proven he can play the position, and as we know, his bat will play anywhere.

If that’s the plan, it’s a good plan. The only problem is the Mets don’t have the depth to cast Guillorme in a starting role. That’s obviously not his fault, and being fair, that shouldn’t preclude him from getting the starting position he’s earned.

Overall, the Mets are nearing Spring Training, and there’s no obvious third base plan. They don’t have the internal depth, and there are very few external options available.

All told, the Mets still have a lot of work to do.

Mets Should Pursue Lorenzo Cain

With the Mets missing out on George Springer, the question is where do they go for a vector fielder. The common consensus is Jackie Bradley, Jr., but there are significant issues there.

Entering 2020, Bradley was a 90 wRC+ player over the previous three seasons. His exit velocities have been dropping. His defensive numbers have as well.

In terms of OAA, from 2017 – 2019, he dropped a 3 OAA each year. He was still quite good with a 7 OAA last year. Still, as we see at Baseball Savant, he’s been seeing a steady drop in his reaction time, burst, and jump.

For a player who is about to turn 31, you wonder how long before his defense takes a real dip. When that happens, Bradley has little of value to offer. Seeing that, the Mets should at least look elsewhere.

With the entire NL Central looking to dump salary, you wonder if the Milwaukee Brewers would be looking to trade Lorenzo Cain. Certainly, the $35 million remaining on the last two years of his deal would be a motivating factor.

If a free agent, Cain would arguably be the second best option on the market.

Obviously, Cain’s main value is with his glove. In fact, Cain leads the majors with a 45 DRS since 2017. His OAA numbers are similarly phenomenal.

In 2019, his last season played, Cain had a 14 OAA which was third best in the majors. That was a step back from when he was a 21 DRS in 2018, which was second best in the majors.

Now, this is SIGNIFICANTLY better than what Bradley has produced. Since 2017, Bradley has a 17 DRS. While impressive and good for fifth best in the majors, it pales in comparison to Cain.

On the OAA front, Bradley is a little closer. That said, Bradley has had a combined 13 OAA over the past two years. That is less than the 14 OAA Cain put up in 2019.

Now, there are some issues with Cain. After all, his defense did slip a bit. His sprint speed has steadily declined in each of the past three years. That said, his 27.8 ft/sec is still a bit faster than Bradley’s 27.6. More to the point, Cain played superior defensively at that speed.

Cain is also a much better bat. From 2016 – 2019, Bradley was a 90 wRC+ hitter. Cain was a 106. Cain is also a right-handed bat which works better in the Mets lineup.

Now, there are some who will point to Bradley’s 119 wRC+ last year. However, that’s due for a serious regression with his .343 BABIP and his woeful exit velocity stats. Basically, we can expect his offensive production to not just return to his 90 wRC+ levels. In fact, we could see him go well below that.

By and large, Cain’s advanced stats have held steady. He’s essentially had the same barrels and hard hit rates. Yes, with him entering his age 35 season, we could expect him to regress.

Overall, it would at least appear a regression for Cain would look like what Bradley’s current level of production is. We should keep in mind Bradley may still continue to regress.

With that, and the intangibles Cain brings to the table, it would seem Cain is the far better option. Keep in mind, when the Josh Hader news hit during the All-Star Game, Cain was a driving force keeping that clubhouse together.

While Cain would seem to be the better player and fit, the question is whether it’s worth trading for him over just signing Bradley. The answer is it depends.

If the Mets could offset Cain’s contract by unloading a Jeurys Familia, you move much closer to it being the preferable option. If you’re giving up players like J.D. Davis, who have no position along with a very small piece, you have to consider it.

Obviously, if the Brewers want a significant return that doesn’t resemble what is largely a contract dump, the Mets should walk and just sign someone else to play center. However, up until that point, the Mets should strongly consider Cain for center because not only is he the best option available, but he’s also a very good fit for this team.

Jose Martinez Was Not Signed To DH

The New York Mets made a bit of a surprise signing when they agreed to terms with Jose Martinez on a one year split contract. With the signing of Martinez, it led many to wonder why the Mets signed him, and there were explanations:

Balderdash

The Mets have Dominic Smith and Pete Alonso both battling for first base (again). They have already stated they prefer not to put Smith in LF. They also said the institution of the DH could be the impetus to sign a George Springer.

Looking at the respective numbers, you’re not going to bat Martinez over Smith or Alonso. In fact, based upon last year, the Mets aren’t likely to bat Martinez over J.D. Davis.

So, what’s happening here?

Well, some people desperately want there to be a universal DH, and as such, they will use anything to push the narrative. They’ll do it despite their already being an agreement for no universal DH and MLB informing teams there will be no universal DH in 2021.

Now, things change. Perhaps, there will be a new agreement for the universal DH on the eve of the season. We could see the Mets make some deals or see injuries which will elevate Martinez to the DH role.

However, make no mistake. The Mets didn’t sign Martinez to be their DH. The Mets are too well stocked at that position. They’re not benching better players and hitters for Martinez.

No, the Mets signed Martinez as needed depth. He could be a right-handed pinch hitter. He could be in the minors waiting for a trade or injury. It’s quite possible the Mets are working on some things, and they wanted Martinez as an insurance policy to permit them to make a deal.

There are many possible reasons the Mets signed Martinez. You can’t rule any of them out. Well, that’s not true. You can rule out the Mets signing Martinez as the DH.