To start one of the most interesting free agencies in franchise history, the Mets have made some minor moves. They signed outfielder Mallex Smith, infielder José Peraza, and relief pitcher Arodys Vizcaino. Even though these are all fairly minor moves, all three players may have a shot at the Mets roster. Nonetheless the Mets roster next season is going to be a tough challenge for all three of Smth, Peraza, and Vizcaino.
Mallex Smith has spent his MLB career playing in the outfield for the Tampa Bay Rays, Atlanta Braves, and Seattle Mariners. In 2020, he didn’t see the field very often with only 45 plate appearances, only getting six hits. He recorded a batting average of .133 in 2020 with Seattle.
In 2019, also with Seattle, he had 566 plate appearances and a measly .227 batting average. Amazingly enough, Smith led the American League with 40 stolen bases on 52 attempts, stealing bases at a successful rate of 83.6.
In 2018 with the Rays, Mallex Smith recorded a .296 batting average in 544 plate appearances. He also put up 40 stolen bases. But, he also led the league in times caught stealing with 12.
His career stats have him at a .255 batting average, 378 hits, and 13 home runs. Yet, Smith’s biggest value is his base stealing, as he’s averaged about 44 stolen bases per 162 games. For the Mets, his base-stealing can be a weapon, making him a great pinch runner late in games. Smith is looking for a bounce-back year now in New York at 27 years old.
In his career, José Peraza has spent time in the infield with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds, and Boston Red Sox. Peraza came into the MLB as an adequately high prospect for the Reds and Dodgers. But the big leagues have given him a mixed bag of results.
In 2020 for the Red Sox, Peraza had a .225 batting average in 111 plate appearances. He also hit a home run.
In his career, he has a lifetime .270 batting average. He has had 505 hits and 29 home runs. His career slugging is .372 and his career OPS is .310.
Peraza could be a really solid backup infielder in New York, even though he went through some struggles last season.
Arodys Vizcaíno has spent his big league career pitching for the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves. Though he didn’t play in 2020, he stayed Mariners organization.
In his big league career, he has pitched 194.1 innings, with 13 wins, 11 losses, and 50 saves. Yet this is in 206 games, his career earned run average is 3.01, and his career walks plus hits per inning rate is 1.29. He only pitched four games in 2019. But in 2018, Vizcaíno pitched in 39 games, posting an earned run average of 2.11, with 16 saves, two wins, and two losses. Those 16 saves were in 18 save opportunities.
Vizcaino is 29 years old and he has put up solid numbers in the MLB. But who knows if he’ll make the Mets because he really hasn’t pitched in the last 2 years.
In general none of these players will be everyday players for the Mets. But even though they all struggled in 2020, they can be solid bench players for the team. The bench depth is always a good thing to have in baseball and the Mets are making moves to deepen their bench and bullpen even more.