Busy Mets add backup infielder Mendick

December 23rd, 2022

NEW YORK -- The Mets can only go so long without making a transaction.

Barely an hour after trading catcher James McCann to the Orioles, the Mets struck again on Wednesday with a one-year, $1 million deal for infielder Danny Mendick. The club announced the move on Thursday, along with the agreement on a one-year contract with LHP Joey Lucchesi to avoid arbitration. RHP Yoan López was released in a corresponding move.

The White Sox had recently non-tendered Mendick, who tore the ACL in his right knee in June and did not return in 2022. A Mets official said he expects Mendick to require a ramp-up period at the start of Spring Training but to be fully healthy by the end of March.

When healthy, Mendick is a strong defender capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop. The Rochester, N.Y., native and right-handed hitter was in the midst of his best big league season when he suffered the injury, having produced a .289/.343/.443 slash line over 31 games for Chicago. He had also posted an .894 OPS in limited time at Triple-A.

With the Mets, Mendick should provide additional depth behind one of the most formidable infields in baseball, joining Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor. The club has two other veteran infielders on the roster in Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme and may not be able to carry them all, so the Mendick signing could prompt them to pursue a trade of the more expensive Escobar. Doing so would allow them to shed a small chunk of salary, much as they did earlier Wednesday with the trade of McCann.