The Mets have decided to sign free-agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. The deal will be for one year, with New York having to pay only the major-league minimum salary of $545k.
Gonzalez had been a free agent for almost a month after he was released by the Braves, who had acquired him in a huge swap with the Dodgers. Though he was let go, Gonzalez is still going to earn $21.5 million this season, with the Braves paying $17 million and Dodgers paying $4.5 million. This is good news for the Mets, as the veteran will come at a low cost to them despite his high salary.
The 35-year-old Gonzalez is coming off the worst season of his big-league career, as he slashed .242/.287/.355 with three home runs and 30 RBI in just 252 plate appearances in his fifth season with the Dodgers. He spent two stints on the disabled list — the first for elbow stiffness, the second for lower-back discomfort — and lost his starting job to rookie Cody Bellinger, an eventual All-Star and Rookie of the Year. Gonzalez was left off the 25-man roster for the entirety of the postseason as the Dodgers advanced to the World Series.
Gonzalez is a career .288 hitter with 311 homers and 1,176 RBI in 14 seasons. He is also a five-time All-Star, a four-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time Silver Slugger winner. By signing him, the Mets can use him as an insurance policy to Dominic Smith, a 22-year-old who played 49 games for New York last season after being called up to majors in August.