I saw this post on MLB Trade Rumors, about how Edgar Renteria would be willing to move to second base, and it got me thinking.
The Mets would be wise to sign a middle infielder of some sort this offseason. We know this. None of the various in-house options at second base — Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Reese Havens, and, lest we forget, Luis Castillo — is yet appealing enough to merit a place in the Opening Day lineup.
And not only will they need to find someone who is, they’ll also need to make sure they’ve got a solid backup to Jose Reyes at shortstop.
So I got to thinking maybe Renteria could fill both the team’s needs. He could open the season at second base and be the backup shortstop, provided Murphy is on the Major League roster somewhere and deemed capable of filling in at second.
Renteria got $10 million dollars for his efforts in San Francisco in 2010, a sum befitting a postseason hero but hardly appropriate for an injury-plagued middle infielder who played in only 72 games. I have no idea what Renteria will cost moving forward, though I’m near-certain it’ll be way, way less than $10 million.
Renteria is hardly a good hitter at this point, but he’s not terrible for a middle infielder, either. His .707 OPS in 2010 fell just shy of the league average for second basemen, though it marked his best season in three.
He would likely make up for his hitting at least a bit with his defense. He can still capably cover shortstop, the toughest position on the field, so presumably he could more than handle second base.
The ideal fit for the Mets would be a guy that would be willing and able to assume a full-time bench role if and when one of the young internal candidates proves worthy of playing every day. I don’t know Edgar Renteria personally so I have no idea if he fits that description, but I know he has a reputation as a great clubhouse guy and that he considered retiring after the 2010 campaign due to his various aches and pains.
So if the cost isn’t prohibitive, Renteria might make a nice option for the Mets’ 2010 middle infield.
Incidentally, Renteria is indisputably the all-time best of the nine Major League players to ever hail from Colombia. It’s sort of amazing how Renteria is just a bit better than fellow Colombian shortstop Orlando Cabrera in just about every category: Renteria has a .287/.344/.400 career line, Cabrera’s is .274/.320/.395; Renteria has 2252 hits, 135 home runs, 887 RBIs and 290 steals, Cabrera has 1948, 118, 803 and 208; and now Renteria has played for two World Series winners, Cabrera only one.
But perhaps Cabrera takes solace in his dominance in the sacrifice-fly category. Oddly, Cabrera has been in the top 10 of his league in sacrifice flies in each of the last five seasons, and led the American League in the category in 2006, 2007 and 2009.