Mets add Espinosa to infield mix

February 8th, 2019
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: Second baseman Danny Espinosa #8 of the Tampa Bay Rays catches Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Boston Red Sox attempting to steal second base during the first inning of a game on September 15, 2017 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)Brian Blanco/Getty Images

NEW YORK -- The Mets' crowded infield gained another member on Friday, when the team signed veteran to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Espinosa, 31, has played parts of eight years in the Majors with the Nationals, Rays, Angels and Mariners, last appearing in a big league game in 2017. The switch-hitter played for three different organizations at the Triple-A level last year, batting a combined .229 with a .646 OPS at those stops.
From 2011-16, Espinosa hit .227 with a .689 OPS for the Nationals, averaging 14 home runs per season.
In Mets camp, Espinosa offers further depth behind at shortstop and at second base. The club doesn't have an obvious backup to Rosario, with the only other player on its projected Opening Day roster featuring significant shortstop experience. The Mets have at least internally discussed the idea of using 20-year-old prospect Andres Gimenez at shortstop if Rosario misses time due to injury, but that's far from a sure thing; now, in the event of a Rosario injury, Espinosa gives the Mets another option in addition to Lowrie, Gimenez and .