The New York Mets are opting for experience over youth in 2020. All five players added to the 60-man player pool have past MLB experience.
The list of signings is headlined by former New York Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera. Now 35, soon to be 36, Melky isn’t the same player he was in his prime.
His walk rates have tanked and his defense is some of the worst in MLB. That won’t matter much in 2020 with the new DH rule. Melky’s high contact approach is similar to what Joe Panik gave the team in 2019. It never hurts to have a bat you can count on to put the ball in play off the bench. Not to mention, Melky has extensive playoff experience.
The Mets also added Gordon Beckham to their player pool. Beckham is 33, soon to be 34, and he had a nightmare of a spring training. He failed to notch a hit in 10 games with the Padres in camp. This came after abysmal seasons in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Beckham has hit just .208/.265/.335 in the last three years. However, Beckham does provide defensive versatility as he can play first, second, third, and shortstop. Beckham also has playoff experience from his time with the Angels in 2014.
The last new signing is Hunter Strickland. The reliever was traded to the Washington Nationals at the deadline in 2019 and went on to win the World Series. Despite that, 2019 wasn’t a good season for Strickland.
He posted a 5.55 ERA, 6.30 FIP, 3 BB/9, and 6.7 K/9. It was the worst season of Strickland’s career. The Mets are hoping 2019 was just a blip on the radar. Strickland had been a strong reliever most of his career.
From 2015-2018, Strickland posted a 3.00 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 3.2 BB/9, and 8.3 K/9. If the Mets get that version of Strickland it would be a huge addition to a Mets’ bullpen that is one of the most hit and miss in MLB.