Mets Will Miss Eduardo Escobar
When looking at the numbers, it didn’t make much sense for the New York Mets to jump the gun and sign Eduardo Escobar early in the 2021-2022 offseason. However, the Mets did, and they wound up with a player who brought a lot of intanglibes to the franchise.
Right off the bat, he gave a famed and impassioned speech to the Mets minor leaugers about what it takes to make it. It was just the tip of the iceberg on the impact a person of Escobar’s caliber can have on a franchise.
Escobar was brought in for those intangibles. After a season where the Mets fell apart and were booing the fans, they needed to address the chemistry. They needed real clubhouse guys. Escobar was every bit that and more. We got that sense of hearing Francisco Lindor talking about him in the moments after Escobar was traded:
Francisco Lindor was interviewed minutes after Eduardo Escobar was traded to the Angels.
“He's one of the best teammates I've ever had. We're going to miss him a lot."
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) June 24, 2023
Lindor hit in on the head when he said Escobar was one of the best teammates he ever had. He was also one of those players fans wanted to see succeed. That was no more evident than when Escobar told the fans he was going to give them reason to root for him.
We had that reason when Escobar had a great end to the 2022 season. We also had that reason throughout his tenure with how he comported himself and was always a team first player.
In 2022, when he struggled, Escobar lost his starting job to Luis Guillorme. Actually, it was a platoon, but when you’re the right-handed bat in the platoon, you lost your job. Escobar responded by being a great teammate and having a phenomenal end to the 2022 season to reclaim his job and doing all he could to prevent a collapse.
During that 2022 season, Brett Baty was called up. If not for Baty’s thumb injury, we have no idea if Escobar would ever get the opportunity to start again. Despite knowing that, he worked with Baty and Mark Vientos during spring training to help them improve as ballplayers. He actively helped prepare two prospect who were likely to take his job during the 2023 season.
With Escobar’s early season struggles, that happened much sooner than later. Escobar responded to that by being a great teammate and helping Baty anyway he could. He also responded by rebounding and starting to put together a much better season.
When you are having a lost season like the Mets are having, you are eventually going to have to sell. When the Los Angeles Angels offer the package of Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux, you pretty much have to pull the trigger on that because you’re not really going to do much better for a utility player.
That said, as you look to get younger and go through difficult stretches, Escobar is exactly who you want on your team. You want him as a mentor and to be a positive force in the clubhouse. Trading him was necessary, but you don’t do it enthusiastically.
Escobar was very good for the Mets since they signed him. He had big moments, but the biggest moments of all was when he was a great teammate and true leader in the Mets clubhouse. He is going to be sorely missed.