I truly appreciated EY’s contributions to the ballclub for his 1 ½ years as a Met. He was never the big star in the outfield, but he brought a POP into the game in whatever role was asked of him. For Pete’s sake, he was the 2013 National League Stolen Base Champion! He brought a hustle onto the franchise that I truly likened to be similar to Kevin Mitchell in 1986.
I’ll never forget a play at a Friday night game versus the Nationals in the summer of 2013 when, on a ground ball in the infield, EY was called out on a close play. What was more inspiring was that Young sprinted it up the line and when he was called out, EY jumped up in the air and showed complete frustration that he couldn’t be a base runner in the bottom of the 8th. It showed me that there were still ballplayers that embodied the grit and grind of a player trying to earn his stripes with his team and the fans.
So, despite EY’s off the bench play and spark plug style intensity on the base paths over his 1 ½ years with the Blue and Orange Brigade, Sandy Alderson decided to non-tender Young’s contract and automatically made him a free agent. EY, I wish you nothing but the best for you, sir.
However, during the infamous Winter Meetings held last week, there were a multitude of major acquisitions made for multiple amounts of teams. Matt Kemp going to the Padres in a trade, Jimmy Rollins going to the Dodgers, and Jon Lester signing a big contract with the Chicago Cubs were a few instances, but the Mets made the biggest signing of all. The Mets signed John Mayberry, Jr. to a 1 year, $1.45 million dollar contract!
In 78 games split between both leagues between Philadelphia and Toronto, Mayberry only batted .212 with 7 homeruns and 23 RBIs in only 146 at-bats. Predominantly a platoon player (especially with his final few seasons with Philly), Mayberry has a great pop off the bench, especially with the seemingly lacking-in-power Mets over the last few seasons.
Also, according to Baseball-Reference.com, Mayberry also has experience playing first base. So, if Lucas Duda is struggling batting against left-handed pitchers in 2015, Mayberry could always give the Dude a day off. It’s always great to help versatility and depth for each player at multiple positions.
Honestly, in an exchange with EY’s speed and hustle for Mayberry’s pop at the plate, I sadly would take it. With the fences moving in, it might be a very positive thing to have that right-handed pop off the bench.
Junior for Junior? I’m OK with it. Welcome to the Mets, Mr. Mayberry, Jr.! As long as you don’t end up like that scrub Chris Young, I’m perfect with it.