Mere hours after moving James McCann, the Mets made another late night move, inking infielder Danny Mendick to a one-year, $1 million contract. The 29-year-old Mendick has spent his entire career with the White Sox but was non-tendered after missing the second half of 2022 with a torn ACL.
Mendick is hardly a household name, but he’s been a useful depth player in his big league career. He lacks significant over-the-fence power, but makes contact at a decent rate and will draw walks at an okay clip. His 2022 knee injury derailed his best season to date, as he’d posted a .289/.343/.443 (125 wRC+) before going down in June. Defensively, he lacks high-end tools, but can stand at shortstop and play passably at second and third. It’s a pretty prototypical 5th or 6th infielder profile.
The typical 9-10 month recovery time for an ACL injury would have Mendick ready to return the field in March, meaning he’ll likely miss a chunk of spring training and not be quite ready for the start of the season. That shouldn’t be a problem for the Mets, however, who have (for the moment) both Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme on the bench behind their star-studded infield. Instead, Mendick was likely added due to his remaining options; he can be freely sent back and forth to Triple-A (a maximum of five times in one year, with the new rules implemented last season), meaning the Mets can manage a week where two guys have balky hamstrings without having to juggle their 40-man roster around or sign Devin Marrero. It’s a nice peripheral move for a roster, not equal in import to major additions like Carlos Correa but impactful on the margins nonetheless.