The Mets’ roster underwent an overhaul in the offseason, and that meant some familiar faces are now on other clubs, either via the trade or free agent process. Four key position players have ended up on teams that play their spring training games in the Cactus League, and those ex-Mets are doing well, with two of them up in the stratosphere with respect to their batting stats.
Outfielder Jay Bruce played all or part of the last three seasons with the Mets, with some and down results, including a down 2018. He was shipped off to Seattle along with some prospects in the big trade that brought Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano to the Mets. At the time it was figured that it was kind of a salary dump move.
However, Bruce has looked like the second coming of Babe Ruth during ST. His slash line is .440/.500/.760 with two home runs in 10 games and 28 PA. And for those who remember Bruce lumbering around the base paths, he has even recorded a stolen base in his only attempt. Bruce is clearly positioning himself for a starting role in the Mariners’ outfield.
Asdrubal Cabrera was traded last mid season to the Phillies, then chose to sign with the Texas Rangers over the winter. The versatile infielder has put up a respectable slash line so far of .278/.381/.278, in eiht games and 21 PA. Media reports showed Cabrera had hoped to sign with the Mets, but that was not to be.
Wilmer Flores had been a fan favorite in New York going back to at least 2015, when he was nearly traded to Milwaukee. His emotional response that he wanted to remain a Met caught the attention of the nation. He played an important role in the Mets pennant winning season that year.
Flores signed on with Arizona, and he has been rivaling or even exceeding Bruce in production. His slash line is .474/.565/.737 with a homer in the Cactus League. The D-Backs have an opening at second base, and that is where he may end up playing this year. Flores was not the most agile infielder with the Mets, and he was erratic at times with his arm. If he bats anything like his current form, he won’t need to be a Gold Glover to make a big contribution.
Finally we have catcher Kevin Plawecki, who was dealt to Cleveland for a couple of minor leaguers. Plawecki had been with the Mets since the 2015 pennant winning season, mostly as a backup. The scrappy backstop has put together a .294/.400/.412 slash line in eight games and 20 PA so far in the Cactus League. That’s not an earth shaking line, but for a defense first position like catcher, that production over a season would be pretty good. Plawecki has put himself in the mix for a starting berth with the Indians.
Please note that all stats are through Sunday’s action, and are provided courtesy of the Baseball-Reference website.
One shouldn’t read too much into ST stats. However if some or all of the players mentioned have big seasons at the plate, they could join the ranks of previous departees Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner as players that the Mets wish they had kept.