The New York Mets sound like they’re hunting for an outfielder. In aisle two, these six options could be be sneaky-good selections to sign.
With Yoenis Cespedes still recovering from ankle surgery and slated to return mid-season (at the earliest), going into the 2019 season, Juan Lagares is slated to be the New York Mets‘ Opening Day center fielder.
Personally, I’m a fan of Lagares. He’s a former Gold Glover and one of the best defensive players in New York Mets history, as well a solid right-handed bat off of the bench over the past few seasons. Despite his more positive traits, Lagares does have some downsides as well.
His career .260 batting average is not terrible by any means, but his career OBP is only .300 and he has had trouble staying on the field over the past few years, playing in fewer than 100 games in each of the last 3 seasons. Needless to say, the Mets should consider adding some depth to the outfield.
After his blockbuster trade with the Mariners last week, Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has promised there are more moves still to come this offseason. The Mets have been rumored to be showing interest in A.J. Pollock, and since his move to a Long Island City apartment earlier this offseason, which is already home to a few Mets, several New Yorkers have been holding out hope that Bryce Harper will end up in Queens.
With Cespedes expected back mid-season, and with Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto hitting in the top of the lineup, it wouldn’t be a smart move to overpay for another outfielder and have to play musical chairs with them down the stretch.
If the Mets are going to spend big money, I would prefer they would invest in fixing up the bullpen or signing a new starting catcher, as to me, the outfield shouldn’t be a pressing matter. Despite this, the outfield in its current state is still an issue and one that needs to be addressed, but at a cheaper price.
With all of that said, here are some under the radar options that the Mets should consider.
*HONORABLE MENTION: I would have included Adam Jones on this list, but my colleague Jordan Leopold discussed Signing Adam Jones in a recent article. Feel free to check it out.