Mets acquire Dan Vogelbach in trade with Pirates
New York has acquired a power bat against right-handed pitching in exchange for RHP Colin Holderman.
The Mets have made their first trade of the 2022 regular season, officially acquiring DH Dan Vogelbach from the Pirates in exchange for RHP Colin Holderman.
This move marks the club’s first attempt at addressing a designated hitter position that has lacked production all season long. Mostly split between Dom Smith and JD Davis, Mets designated hitters have hit just .216/.300/.362 with nine home runs (five of which hit by Pete Alonso) and an 84 OPS plus. Vogelbach’s bat certainly packs a good deal of raw power that the Mets have severely lacked this season, hitting 12 home runs in the first half, but is likely nothing more than a platoon bat for this club rather than a full-time solution at the position.
Vogelbach has crushed right-handed pitching this season, batting .260/.365/.532 with all 12 of his home runs this season coming against them, but conversely has struggled mightily against southpaws. In 75 plate appearances against left-handers, Vogelbach is hitting just .141/.267/.156 with one extra-base hit, seven RBI, 19 strikeouts and a .423 OPS, so at minimum the Mets will still need to be in the market for a DH partner that can provide thump against lefties. The best-case scenario for the Mets here is likely looking at Vogelbach as a bat that can help them in the short-term before acquiring a legitimate big-time bat at the trade deadline that allows them to shift Vogelbach into more of a depth role.
Vogelbach, just three seasons removed from a 30 home run campaign in Seattle, is still under team control over the next four years.
On the other side of things, the Mets did give up an arm that provided them with quite a few quality appearances out of the bullpen this a season. In 15 games this season, Holderman pitched to a 2.04 ERA with a 2.26 FIP, 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings, no home runs allowed and a 0.5 bWAR — identical to Vogelbach’s bWAR in the first half with Pittsburgh. New York was already in need of relief help at the deadline, and losing the depth that Holderman provided will only add to their need to bolster their bullpen over the next few weeks.
In a vacuum, the Vogelbach acquisition isn’t a bad one for the Mets but the grading of this trade will ultimately come down to how he performs with the club and what other moves the team makes to fortify their lineup. Vogelbach alone will not solve the rolling blackouts that this offense has been prone to at times over the last few weeks, but it’s safe to say that general manager Billy Eppler is aware of that and this is just the first move to improve the club, not the last.