When Mets general manager Sandy Alderson inked outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a one-year, $5.75 million contract in December, Alderson envisioned De Aza playing a much bigger role in 2016 than as a backup outfielder. However, now that the Mets have re-signed slugger Yoenis Cespedes, De Aza doesn't figure to get too much playing time. At today's press conference to introduce Cespedes, Sandy Alderson said he imagines teams could come calling about De Aza's availability late in spring training.
Too much depth is a good problem to have for any team. Early in the 2015 season, the Mets lacked depth and it showed as Eric Campbell and John Mayberry Jr. were forced into everyday roles. Alderson acquired Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe at the trade deadline and the moves paid big dividends, giving the Mets the depth they desperately needed.
However, $5.75 million is a hefty price tag for the Mets to be paying a backup outfielder. The only position De Aza has ever played in the majors is outfield. He played only one game at first base in the minors and that was back in 2004, and he can't platoon with Lucas Duda because both are left-handed hitters.
For three teams in 2015, De Aza batted .262/.333/.422 with seven home runs, 35 RBIs, and seven stolen bases. His best season came in 2013 for the Chicago White Sox when he hit .264/.323/.405 to go along with career highs in home runs (17) and RBIs (62). He also swiped 20 bases in a career-high 153 games.