During tonight’s game against the Phillies, the Mets announced that they have traded third baseman Eduardo Escobar to the Angels. In return, they have acquired Double-A right-handers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux, who are ranked No. 19 and No. 20, respectively, in the Angels’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline.
The Mets signed Escobar to a two-year deal worth $20 million during a Black Friday shopping spree in 2021 that also saw them add outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha. Escobar finished his first year in Flushing slashing .240/.295/.430 with 20 homers, a 106 wRC+, and a 2.2 fWAR in 136 games. His numbers were aided by a tremendous September that saw him hit .340/.393/.649 with eight homers and a 191 wRC+. However, he’s struggled this season and eventually lost his job to Brett Baty, though he has flourished in a more diminished role. Overall, he’s hit .236/.286/.409 with four homers, a 92 wRC+, and a 0.2 fWAR in 40 games.
The Mets will pay Escobar’s entire salary except for the league minimum, according to Andy Martino. This helped the club get the two prospects they really wanted in this deal. Crow has made four starts this year but has been on the shelf since May 12 with an elbow injury. He has recently started throwing bullpens, but there’s no timetable for his return to the field. In those four starts, he posted a 1.88 ERA, with 31 strikeouts in 24 innings. Marceaux, meanwhile, has pitched to a 4.88 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 12 starts for Double-A Rocket City.
This is the first move in what will presumably be a busy deadline season for Billy Eppler. The Mets currently find themselves six games under .500 and seven games out of the playoffs, with five teams to climb to get into the final Wild Card spot. The team’s play over the next few weeks will dictate whether they will be buyers or sellers, and this Escobar move doesn’t necessarily hint at which way they will go, something Eppler all but confirmed in speaking with Tim Healey. The team has a lot of expiring contracts, and could look to part with them and pay their remaining salaries in order to acquire better prospects, as they did here.