The slow-developing free agent market is starting to work in their favor as they signed outfielder Jay Bruce to a three-year, $39 million deal on Wednesday.
That plan might be moot, as the Mets agreed to a deal with free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday, multiple media outlets reported. Rather, he would be available to replace or at least tutor Dominic Smith, whose first partial season with the Mets did not convince the club he is ready to be the everyday first baseman.
He was traded from Los Angeles to Atlanta as part of a five-player deal in December and released two days later.
The Mets won't need to break the bank for Gonzalez.
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Signing as a free agent for the first time in his 14-year career, Gonzalez is still owed almost $17 million in guaranteed money from his previous contract from Atlanta, and $4.5 million from the Dodgers. He hit.242 with a.287 on-base percentage, a.355 slugging percentage, three homers and 30 RBIs. He played for the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox before joining the Dodgers in midseason in 2012. Duda was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays during the season, and Smith, 22, struggled offensively, batting just.198.
He began the year as the team's primary first baseman, but was usurped by rookie sensation Cody Bellinger, who went on to win the league's Rookie of the Year Award.
He is a five-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove victor.