Eric Young, Jr. non-tendered by Mets
The Mets have non-tendered outfielder Eric Young, Jr., who was set to make roughly $2.5 million this coming season if offered arbitration.
Young, who turns 30 this coming May, hit .229/.299/.311 in 316 plate appearances over 100 games for the Mets this past season.
Young was a regular sight in the starting lineup early on in the season – ordinarily in left field – but his playing time shrunk as his play worsened over the course of the campaign.
The Mets acquired Young from the Rockies in 2013 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Collin McHugh.
Simply put, Eric Young, Jr. is someone with one plus tool (speed) who can be easily replaced by a player already on the 40-man roster who will make a shred of what Young will earn this coming season.
The decision to part ways with Young is a smart one, being that the Mets have multiple players who are younger, make far less money, and who can slide into his role while offering better defense and better pop.
With the Mets non-tendering Young, it likely paves the way for either Kirk Nieuwenhuis (who is out of options) or Matt den Dekker to make the Opening Day roster as a lefty hitting outfielder off the bench.
In addition to either Nieuwenhuis or den Dekker, the Mets are seeking a right-handed hitting outfielder to round out a bench that will also likely consist of C Anthony Recker, and either SS Ruben Tejada or SS Wilmer Flores.
If the Mets do not import a right-handed hitting outfielder between now and the end of Spring Training, they could always go with Cesar Puello, who is on the 40-man roster and spent last season with Triple-A Las Vegas. However, Puello is not a favorite inside the organization, making his inclusion on the Opening Day roster iffy at best.