New York Mets News

Mets agree to one-year deal with Alejandro De Aza


The Mets have agreed to a one-year deal with OF Alejandro De Aza worth $4.5 million.

According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the plan is for the lefty-hitting De Aza to platoon in center field with Juan Lagares.

On Monday, it was reported that in addition to free agent OF Denard Span that the Mets also had interest in De Aza and Will Venable.

De Aza, 31, hit .262/.333/.422 while playing for the Orioles, Red Sox, and Giants in 2015. Against right-handers, De Aza hit .278 with a .351 OBP and .448 SLG.

For his career, De Aza has hit .274/.338/.418 against right-handers.

De Aza rated as a negative defender last season in terms of DRS while only starting one game in center field.

De Aza isn’t a traditional lefty masher, and he’s started just 17 games in center field since being a relative butcher out there in 2013. He’s not a fit for the Mets, but the team apparently thinks otherwise.

Instead of waiting out the market and signing a player who actually fit what this team needs, the Mets have gone out and signed a cheap option who isn’t even an adequate defensive center fielder at this point in his career.

If De Aza was being brought in as a bench bat, this would’ve been a solid move. But to have him be on the long end of a platoon while playing a position he’s poor at? Absurd.

More from Rising Apple

With Juan Lagares, the Mets have a player whose defense in 2014 was worth so much that it overshadowed his poor showing against right-handed pitching.

This past season, with Lagares dealing with an elbow injury that led him to baby his arm for most of the season and alter his positioning at times, his defense was just above average. And while there’s hope Lagares will be close to 100 percent in 2016, it’s not something the Mets can bank on.

With front offices about to depart for the holiday break, there are six high-profile free agent outfielders who have yet to sign: Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton, Alex Gordon, Denard Span, Dexter Fowler, and Gerardo Parra.

Of those six, the Mets had been linked to Span (who they were supposed to watch during workouts in January), Fowler, and Parra, though their supposed interest in Fowler had since been shot down.

As far as Cespedes is concerned, Mets assistant GM John Ricco said during the Winter Meetings that Cespedes would likely receive a contract that’s more than the Mets would be comfortable offering, but later reports indicated that the Mets would’ve welcomed Cespedes back if his market stalled a bit.

The Mets’ excuse for not wanting to sign Cespedes was that he’s not a good defensive center fielder. A few weeks later, they’ve gone out and signed De Aza, who’s a terrible defensive center fielder.

Next: Mets have interest in De Aza and Venable

This reeks of ownership either not having the money to adequately fill the team’s needs or refusing to spend what they do have.