On Monday, the Mets signed free-agent OF Roger Bernadina.
Last season, Bernadina played for the Triple-A affiliate for the Rockies, where he compiled an OPS of .849.
This move itself isn’t huge, and odds are it won’t have much of an impact on the season. However, we’ve seen moves like this before pan out, and the Mets have a knack for finding journeyman players to contribute.
The most recent example is Marlon Byrd, who was signed to a minor league contract in the 2013 offseason.
Byrd not only contributed for the Mets, he revived his career, finishing the 2013 season with 22 home runs between the Mets and Pirates (whom he was traded to in August with John Buck for Vic Black and Dilson Herrera).
Another example from the same season was Latroy Hawkins, who was a fringe-average reliever for the better part of 18 seasons.
The Mets signed the 40 year old, who proceeded to finish the 2013 season with a 2.93 ERA and a 3.06 FIP, and then filled in as the closer when Bobby Parnell succumbed to injury, and saved 13 games.
One can further go back in baseball history and find diamonds in the rough that helped big league teams, but in the end, there’s evidence they exist.
Roger Bernadina may spend the entirety of the 2016 season in Las Vegas, or may be released during Spring Training, but depth signing as a whole are valuable gambles that the Mets seem to capitalize upon.
Roger Bernadina, while not being an every day player, could very well be the next Marlon Byrd or Latroy Hawkins.