It seemed that the departure of Daniel Vogelbach from the New York Mets’ ranks was a bygone conclusion as a disastrous 2023 season entered its final stretch.
But president of baseball operations David Stearns is saying not so fast.
“We’re still discussing it,” he told reporters down in Arizona on Thursday (h/t SNY). “I understand the skillset he brings. I acquired him in my previous spot and I appreciate that. I also look how it fits into the broader scope of our team. We haven’t made any decisions yet.”
Asked what makes Vogelbach a potential option, Stearns noted that the 30-year-old “gets on base and he controls the strike zone at a very elite level.”
Over eight MLB seasons, he owns a .339 on-base percentage while his walk rate ranked in baseball’s top 2% in three of the previous five years.
Stearns acquired Vogelbach off waivers while with the Milwaukee Brewers toward the end of the 2020 season, staying there through the end of 2021 before joining the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Mets picked up Vogelbach at the trade deadline of the 2022 season in hopes of creating a designated hitter platoon alongside Darin Ruf, but the experiment failed spectacularly. While Ruf didn’t make it to the 2023 season after batting .152 in 28 games with New York, Vogelbach failed to provide the pop necessary when given his chance to run away with the job.
He slashed .233/.339/.404 (.742 OPS) with 13 home runs and 48 RBI in 104 games, picking it up after slightly after a brutal start to the campaign. Through 47 games, he was batting .203 with two home runs and 14 RBI, prompting he and the Mets to agree on a mental health break, which put him on the shelf for over a week in June — a month in which the Mets went 7-19.
In his final 57 games, he hit .255 with an .819 OPS, including a .355 on-base percentage, with 11 home runs and 34 RBI. Granted he was used sparingly down the stretch as the Mets began giving more time to younger players — particularly Mark Vientos at DH.