Mets officially agree to four-year extension with Juan Lagares

By Danny Abriano

UPDATE, April 2:

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Mets have finalized their four-year extension with center fielder Juan Lagares.

The deal, first reported on Wednesday, will be worth $23 million guaranteed over four years.

The extension contains a fifth-year team option worth $9.5 million and a $500,000 buyout.

April 1:

According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the Mets have agreed to a four-year extension with Juan Lagares that will be worth more than $20 million.

The extension begins in 2016, covers all of Lagares’ arbitration years and contains a fifth-year team option that would cover his first year of free agency.

Lagares, 26, is viewed by most as the best defensive center fielder in baseball.

Last year for the Mets, Lagares won a Gold Glove while hitting .281/.321/.382 in 452 at bats (116 games played).

The deal will cover Lagares’ age-27 through age-30 seasons with an option for his age-31 season, giving the Mets control over him through his prime at a relatively low cost.


This was a shrewd move by the Mets, as Lagares’ defensive value alone should make the extension worthwhile.

While Lagares was slated on track to be Super Two-eligible in 2016 before his salary escalates further, this deal gives the Mets a bargain down the road while rewarding Lagares and giving him security.

According to fellow Rising Apple writer Dan Haefeli, a good comparison for what Lagares could’ve earned is Brett Gardner, who earned $2.8 million in his Super Two season and roughly $11 million during his three arbitration years. Haefeli points out, though, that Gardner missed the majority of the first arbitration year and likely would’ve earned roughly $17 million over the three seasons had he stayed healthy.

When you take into account that Lagares has been improving on the offensive side of things and has the potential to turn into a legitimate plus at the plate, this deal has the chance to be a steal for the Mets.

According to Bowden’s numbers, Lagares will earn roughly five million per season from 2016 through 2019 during what would’ve been his arbitration years.

The value of the 2020 team option is not yet known, but one would assume it’s not too much higher than the average annual value of the first four years.

The extension the Mets reportedly agreed to with Lagares could be the template for what they do sooner rather than later with Jacob deGrom and our Lucas Duda, and is similar to the extension they agreed to with Jon Niese a few years ago.

Seeing the Mets being proactive is great, and it’s even better to know that Lagares should be patrolling center field at a reasonable rate for the next six seasons.

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