Eduardo Escobar was one of the many Mets who began the season in Queens but ended it elsewhere. Traded at the end of June, more than a month before the deadline, he had an abridged second season with the Mets, and he didn’t quite impress in that short sample.
Before the season began, there was talk about Escobar potentially losing his job to Brett Baty, one of the Mets’ top prospects who had debuted in 2022 and seemed primed for an extended run to hopefully establish himself as the Mets’ third baseman of the future. Escobar took it in stride, and welcomed Baty, but in the end Baty started the season in Syracuse and the Mets took Escobar to Queens to man third base to start the regular season.
Escobar had a brutal beginning of the season, batting .145/.186/.291 over the first few weeks of the season, playing himself out of the job and forcing the hand of Mets management to bring up Baty. Once they brought up Baty and Escobar took a reduced role, Escobar improved to being decent, which resulted in him getting increased playing time. Eventually, on June 24, the Mets traded Escobar to the Los Angeles Angels for two right-handed pitching prospects, ending Escobar’s tenure in Queens.
During his time with the Mets in 2023, he hit .236/.286/.409, hitting four home runs and driving in sixteen runs. He had an 89 wRC+ and was worth 0.2 fWAR, barely scraping by as above replacement level. He ended up performing worse in Los Angeles, with a 51 wRC+ and being worth -1.1 fWAR, making it seem like the Mets made the right move to trade him when they did.
Escobar was a fan favorite, being a bright spot of the Mets’ social media pages and a fun player to root for, but he also played the same position as one of the Mets’ top prospects and his play to start the season did him no favors in keeping him in Queens. While it remains to be seen whether Baty will pan out for the Mets, at a certain point the Mets needed to see what they had with Baty and that came at the expense of Escobar.
Eduardo Escobar was a fun guy to root for, but his poor play to start the season and Brett Baty waiting in the wings to take over the hot corner led to Escobar’s earlier than expected exit from the Mets. Traded a little more than two months into the season, his abridged final season with the Mets was one to forget.