The Mets are among teams considering taking a low-cost flyer on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, a free agent after his release by the Braves on the heels of last week’s trade from the Dodgers.
You can assume the Mets are among teams kicking around idea of pursuing long-time All-Star Adrian Gonzalez. They’re looking for a short-term add-on at the position; when healthy, he’s a good hitter/defender; was just cut by ATL, and costs nothing more than minimum salary in ’18.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 19, 2017
Gonzalez, 35, would be due only the league minimum for 2018 from any team that signs him.
According to NJ.com, a deal for Gonzalez could be seen a couple of ways by the Mets. First, he would be a low-cost, low-risk way to shore up depth at the position rather than pursuing a more expensive option, and, if Gonzalez can bounce back, he could push youngster Dominic Smith while also serving as a veteran mentor at first base.
NJ.com’s assessment: “Smith’s ceiling is probably something close to what Gonzalez became in his prime: an extra-base machine with good defense at first base.”
A 14-year MLB veteran, Gonzalez, though beaten out by rookie sensation Cody Bellinger in 2016, averaged 157 games per seaon from 2013-16 with a 124 OPS+ for the Dodgers.
As important, NJ.com noted, if the Mets go cheap at first base then they’d have more to spend on outfield, second base and third base this offseason.