Soon to turn 35, Blanco has seen his MLB opportunities dwindle along with his output at the plate over the past several seasons. He’s a 93 wRC+ hitter in 3,349 career plate appearances at the game’s highest level, but that largely reflects his quality earlier seasons as a heavily-used player with the Giants.
Last year, in a return to San Francisco, Blanco managed only a .217/.262/.317 slash in 203 plate appearances. Worryingly, his walk rate plunged to nearly half his career level (5.9% vs. 10.8%) and his strikeout rate soared to a career-worst 28.6%.
Still, it’s possible there’s something left for a player who has been a positive contributor for most of his decade-long MLB career. Blanco follows Rajai Davis as a center-field-capable veteran who’ll take a non-roster opportunity with the New York organization. Perhaps the club is indicating that it has real interest in carrying such a player on the active roster to open the season. Whether or not the Mets trade Juan Lagares, there could be an opening on the bench with Yoenis Cespedes expected to be sidelined well into the 2019 campaign.