Mets trade Eduardo Escobar to Angels for 2 minor-league pitchers

Eduardo Escobar Mets
‘New York Mets’ Eduardo Escobar gestures to teammates after hitting an RBI single against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 30, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Eduardo Escobar is headed west as the New York Mets traded the veteran third baseman to the Los Angeles Angels for a pair of right-handed minor-league pitchers in Landon Marceaux and Coleman Crow.

The Angels, who announced the trade on Friday night, will only have to pay the MLB minimum on Escobar’s contract, which is mandated by the league. The Mets are taking on the remainder of the $10 million contract this season.

The 34-year-old’s tenure with the Mets will go down as one that didn’t meet initial expectations. After averaging 22 home runs and 77 RBI from 2017-2021 including a 35-home-run campaign with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2019, Escobar needed a red-hot September last season to salvage his first season in Queens with a .240 average, 20 home runs, and 69 RBI. 

Eduardo Escobar Mets
Eduardo Escobar (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Batting below .200 to star the 2023 season, Escobar lost the Mets’ starting third-base job in favor of prospect Brett Baty — though he turned a corner in a utility role. Over his final 19 games with the club, he batted .333 with an .855 OPS.

In return, the Mets are getting the Angels’ 19th (Crow) and 20th (Marceaux) prospects — both of whom are in Double-A. According to MLB.com, both players immediately entered the Mets’ top 20 prospects as well with Crow sliding in at 11th and Marceaux at 18th.

Marceaux, 23, is 3-6 this season with a 4.88 ERA in 59 innings pitched. Crow, 22, is faring much better after returning from an undisclosed injury. In four starts, he’s 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. 

Both pitchers will add much-needed depth to a Mets’ farm system that lacks high-end pitching talent, but Crow appears to be the prize of the deal. 

Cole was drafted by Mets general manager Billy Eppler back when Eppler was with the Angels. At 6’0″ and 175 pounds, injuries have been a problem for the slight-framed right-hander, but he has performed well whenever he’s been on the mound.

Fangraphs’ scouting report mentions that Crow has “surgical east/west command and breaking ball quality,” and also has the “ability to vary the shape and depth of a couple of different breakers.” While not over-powering, Crow “hammers the zone with his fastball and two different breaking balls, throwing basically all of his pitches for strikes at a 70% clip in 2022.” To top it off, “He is a fantastic on-mound athlete who repeats his mechanics with robotic consistency.”

That may not sound electric, but that’s exactly the type of consistent performer the Mets need on the mound. All in all, it’s a pretty good return for a player that was no longer in the teams’ plans. 

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