The New York Mets and All-Star infielder Eduardo Escobar reportedly reached an agreement Friday on a two-year, $20 million contract.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the terms of the free-agent signing.
Escobar, like numerous MLB players, struggled to replicate his typical production during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He bounced back nicely in 2021 while splitting the campaign between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers.
The 32-year-old Venezuela native posted a .786 OPS with 28 home runs across 146 appearances to earn his first All-Star selection. His 3.0 WAR was the third-highest figure of his 11-year career, per FanGraphs.
"It's really an indescribable moment just to be able to share the field with so many unbelievable players, as well as my family," Escobar told reporters in July after his All-Star Game appearance. "I think it's an amazing gift for them and myself. After so many years of being in league it's just an unbelievable experience."
He also provides positional versatility having played every spot on the diamond, including pitcher and catcher, at least once at the major league level. Third base (601 games) is his most frequented spot, followed by shortstop (329) and second base (137).
Escobar figures to take over as the Mets' starting third baseman, though the club's infield alignment will depend heavily on how second baseman Robinson Cano does following his return from a season-long suspension for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drug policy.
If Cano, 39, is no longer the impact player he was prior to the suspension, it's possible Escobar could shift over to second base and allow J.D. Davis to start at third.
On the flip side, an infield with a productive Cano alongside Escobar, Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso would have a lot of upside heading into 2021.
The Mets still have some work to do in the offseason, ideally targeting a power-hitting corner outfielder, some bullpen upgrades and possibly one more starting pitcher.
That said, the addition of Escobar provides a nice jump-start to New York's free-agent efforts before MLB heads into an expected lockout beginning Dec. 1.