According to the New York Post and other subsequent sources, the Yankees are interested in dealing right-handed batting utility man Rob Refsnyder. Should the Mets be interested in this acquisition? The short answer… probably not.
Refsnyder is entering his age 26 season and spent parts of 2015 and 2016 in the Bronx. He has played all over the diamond, at first, second and corner outfield in the majors and third base in the minors, so he is the kind of player who can provide flexibility. Unfortunately, he does not seem to be a really good fielder at any of the positions.
Refsnyder arrived in the majors as a September call-up in 2015. In that small sample of 16 games, he produced a slash line of .302/.348/.512. Quite nice, all in all. However, 2016 showed regression. In 58 games his slash line was only .250/.328/.309. He’s got some speed and is decent at getting on base, but he’s not really a home run hitter, his best mark was 14 in 2014 split between AA and AAA ball.
Further, there does not really seem to be a place for him on the Mets. Refsnyder can play corner outfield, but as we know the Mets have a glut of those, with Yoenis Cespedes assured of one spot as a starter and Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto fighting for the other spot. Curtis Granderson is in the mix when he’s not in center field, and also part-time center fielder Juan Lagares could play corner outfield if needed. This combination gives the Mets plenty of outfielders barring injury.
The infield is mostly set with Lucas Duda at first, Neil Walker at second, Asdrubal Cabrera at short and Jose Reyes the likely third sacker with David Wright probably out for at least a while with his shoulder injury. Wilmer Flores is a solid utility man capable of playing all the infield slots (although shortstop is dicey) and providing power as well especially against lefty pitchers.
The Mets also have right-handed batting T. J. Rivera in an infield utility role, and it comes down to whether the Mets would think Refsnyder would be an upgrade over Rivera. Rivera spent most of the last year in Las Vegas, but when called up to the Mets his slash line in 2016 was .333/.345/.476, considerably above Refsnyder’s 2016 production. Rivera just seems to have a knack for hitting the ball, with an excellent lifetime batting average in the minors of .324. My choice would clearly be the scrappy Rivera over Refsnyder. Also within the Mets system are Gavin Cecchini and Matt Reynolds as possible utility infielder should Rivera falter.
Some team will want to get a versatile player like Refsnyder, who in some respects could be described as a poor man’s Ben Zobrist. But that team is not the Mets.