Mets' Updated Lineup, Payroll After Reported Escobar, Marte, Canha Contracts

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVNovember 27, 2021

Oakland Athletics' Starling Marte walks back to first after a foul ball in a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

The New York Mets revitalized their lineup Friday with a trio of free-agent signings—center fielder Starling Marte, left fielder Mark Canha and third baseman Eduardo Escobar.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the contract figures for the newest members of the Mets:

  • Marte: $78 million over four years
  • Canha: $26.5 million over two years
  • Escobar: $20 million over two years

The latest additions, at least temporarily, put New York over the Competitive Balance Tax threshold, which is currently placed at $210 million for 2022. The Mets' total payroll expenditures are projected at $230.9 million after the signings, per Spotrac.

That said, with an MLB lockout expected to begin Dec. 1, it's possible the financial outlook is altered when a new collective bargaining agreement is ultimately signed.

Here's a look at how the Mets' batting order could shake out if no further changes are made:

  1. Starling Marte (CF)
  2. Brandon Nimmo (RF)
  3. Francisco Lindor (SS)
  4. Pete Alonso (1B)
  5. Robinson Cano (2B)
  6. Mark Canha (LF)
  7. Eduardo Escobar (3B)
  8. James McCann (C)

J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith headline the reserves, and they would be thrust into larger roles if the designated hitter is added to the National League on a full-time basis in the new CBA.

The Mets fell short of expectations during the first year of Steve Cohen's ownership tenure. They posted a 77-85 record and finished 11.5 games behind the eventual World Series champion Atlanta Braves in the NL East division race.

A lack of consistent offense was a major reason for that lack of success. They ranked 27th in runs scored (3.93 per game) and 24th in team OPS (.705).

Adding Marte as a tag-team partner for Nimmo atop the lineup should create a lot more traffic on the bases for the middle of the order, and the signings of Canha and Escobar will provide some much-needed depth to the offensive group.

New York may look to add another slugger, especially if the DH is added to the NL, but otherwise, the focus will probably shift to the bullpen and potentially one more starting pitcher before the offseason wraps up.