Mets sign Adrian Gonzalez

Aug 29 2017 Phoenix AZ USA Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

That plan might be moot, as the Mets agreed to a deal with free agent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez on Saturday, multiple media outlets reported. The Braves released him shortly after the deal.

Gonzalez, 35, is owed $21.5 million in the final year of his contract.

After polishing off a six-year track with the Dodgers in 2017, Gonzalez was dealt to the Braves during a five-player swap in December.

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Gonzalez, who will be 36 next season, would be a cheap stopgap who would not prevent Smith, one of the Mets' top prospects, from taking over at first base in the team's eyes. When he returned from his injury, NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger had taken over at first base.

Gonzalez hit just.242 with three home runs, 30 RBI, and a career-low.642 OPS.

Gonzalez will be a free agent after the upcoming season. He played for the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres and the Boston Red Sox before joining the Dodgers in midseason in 2012.

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He could still very well be the future of the team at first, but could need more time in triple-A to hone his game, leaving the Mets to search for a short-term option at the position.

Gonzalez gives the Mets a veteran presence at first base, where Lucas Duda and Dominic Smith mainly patrolled last season. Playing 49 games, the left-handed-hitting Smith batted.198 with nine homers, 26 RBIs and 49 strikeouts in 167 at-bats. Nabbing him at the league minimum ($545,000) on a one-year deal, the Mets are getting a savvy veteran hitter who still knows his way around the batter's box.

How do you follow up signing Jay Bruce at a bargain?

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Sandy Alderson made it clear that the Mets were not overly impressed with Smith, who arrived in the major leagues out of shape last August, and that he was not guaranteed the starting first base job this spring.

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