Sandy Alderson certainly makes his moves in bunches: After adding Omar Quintanilla on Wednesday and re-signing Scott Hairston on Thursday, the Mets continued to build their bench on Friday, signing shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a one-year, $1.2 million dollar deal.
Eh. Cedeno doesn’t bring anything with his bat (career .639 OPS) and his fielding rates as average-to-below average at shortstop by the advanced defensive metrics. It’s hard to get excited about this move unless you’re a connoisseur of utility infielders, but an OPS above .600 from a live body capable of playing shortstop is worth something: Fangraphs’ and Baseball-Reference’s versions of Wins Above Replacement rates Cedeno as a positive contributor to the Pirates as their starting shortstop the past two seasons. Cedeno isn’t great at anything, but he isn’t quite awful enough at any one thing to be awful overall. Should something happen to Ruben Tejada, Cedeno has proven himself a respectable major league shortstop.
The Mets bench now looks something like this:
C — Mike Nickeas
IF — Ronny Cedeno
IF — Justin Turner
OF — Scott Hairston
OF — ?
As it stands right now, Mike Baxter seems likely to edge out Josh Satin for that fifth spot, if only because Baxter’s lefthanded-batting-ness and outfielder-ness fit better on the righthanded-hitting heavy bench.
As with Hairston, Cedeno is coming in on a major-league deal, meaning the Mets will now need to clear two spaces on their capacity 40-man roster to make room for the new additions. I’m sorry, everyone. I don’t think D.J. Carrasco is going to make it.