Signed: Alex Cora and Chris Coste with the Mets

The Mets made a couple of minor moves yesterday, signing Alex Cora and Chris Coste to deals.

As of now, Cora will be the backup middle infielder for the Mets. When Jose Reyes went out with a leg injury, Cora stepped in and ended up playing 82 games for New York last year. In his 308 plate appearance, Cora hit .251/.320/.310 and only scored 31 runs. He stole 8 bases in 11 tries, adding in a single homer and 18 RBI. Cora swings at less than 40% of the pitches he sees, but has an astounding 93.7% contact rate. Simply put, when the man swings, he puts a bat on the ball.

By signing Cora, the Mets are giving themselves an option if they can find a taker for Luis Castillo. Cora would likely step in and start at second base if Castillo is gone, but his fantasy value is minimal, even in deep mixed and NL-only leagues. He isn’t much of a hitter, and won’t contribute much (if anything) to your fantasy squad. Stay far away from Cora, even if he ends up starting.

Coste will likely fight for the backup catcher role with Omir Santos, who is already on the Mets roster. Coste last played for Houston in 2009, but spent the first part of the year with the Phillies. Coste hit .224/.301/.317 with 2 homers in 230 plate appearances last season. The lack of homers from Coste was a surprise, as his previous career low was 5 (in 137 PA’s), and is reflected in his 3.4% HR/FB%. This is likely to rise a bit, but playing in Citi Field won’t help anything.

The Mets are looking at Bengie Molina to fill their starting catcher role, but may stay away from him if the Giants offer him arbitration. Regardless, the Mets will look to bring in another catcher, and may hand the role over to prospect Josh Thole if it comes to it. However, Coste is a great guy to have on a major league roster because he smacks lefties around (.294/.345/.476 with 9 homers in 254 career PA). While he isn’t someone you draft as-is, if the Mets end up handing Coste the starting gig he may be worth a late draft pick in deep leagues if you have room to carry two catchers on your roster, allowing you to play him against southpaws.

Both of the moves the Mets made don’t have a great fantasy impact, but it does show their intentions for the rest of the offseason. And that, my friends, could have quite the impact on your roster.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

3 Responses to “Signed: Alex Cora and Chris Coste with the Mets”

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  1. Dan says:

    Coste is just fighting for a roster spot with the likes of Santos, as you say, so I’m not too concerned about it. But the signing of Cora to a $2m deal w/a vesting option is just irresponsible. This is a team that won’t go overslot in the draft but will overspend for replaceable commodities like utility INFs. Stupid. I’m expecting to be even more outraged when they sign Molina to a multi-year deal and forfeit a draft pick for the honor of doing so.

    This is not a smart team.

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  2. recca says:

    should have brought back ruben gotay. also robinson diaz would have been a better signing than coste.

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  3. tarheelcoach says:

    Ruben Gotay? Not comparable. Gotay is a poor defensive 2B who can’t play SS, which is a big part of Cora’s role.

    I don’t understand why the Mets are getting killed for this deal – how cheap really can you get a solid utility IF? The Jays just gave McDonald $3.5mm over two years, and his career OBP is .276, well below Cora’s .313.

    Nothing special, as Zach said, but certainly understandable and reasonable.

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