Alex Cora To Return In 2010? Say It Ain't So Adam Rubin

In a recap of last night's game, Adam Rubin inserted a couple blurbs about the Mets' backup middle infield situation next season:

[Anderson] Hernandez has demonstrated he doesn’t have the aptitude to play shortstop at the major-league level—even if he could handle second base.


The likelihood is the Mets re-sign Alex Cora as the backup middle infielder, which would leave Hernandez and Wilson Valdez as extras who could potentially fit at Triple-A.

This is bizarre. By all accounts, Cora had a poor year. A .288 wOBA, below average defense and multiple injuries ended in a replacement level season. Granted, he wasn't expected to play as much as he did but the Mets paid $2 million for a performance that any number of freely available players could have provided. Cora brought some toughness and veteran leadership to the team, but let's get real -- he should not be brought back. He's 34 and appears to be fading fast in all aspects of his game. Don't let him become another Julio Franco or Marlon Anderson, hanging around past the point of usefulness.

Wilson Valdez would be a superior choice for backup middle infielder. I'm a broken record but in limited time this year Valdez has been worth half a win. He's likely hitting better than his true talent level but defensively he has been superb, living up to his reputation. Cut ties with Cora and stick with the cheap 31 year-old "Infield Endy" who will help young groundballers Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese record outs.

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