Some Help for the Outfield
One of those other needs that can be addressed via free agency is right field. Now I know the Mets would prefer to trade or sign a center fielder via the market before the start of the season, but the alternate option would be to sign a right fielder who can hit and move Brandon Nimmo over to center on a full-time basis. Two intriguing names the Mets should mull over to accomplish this would be Nick Markakis and Adam Jones.
Markakis is a 35-year-old all-star outfielder who spent his last four years with the division rival Atlanta Braves and posted his best year with them in 2018. He played in 160 games with them last year and posted a .297 batting average with 43 doubles and 97 RBI. He had a stellar .366 OBP as well as won his third Gold Glove of his career in 2018.
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Despite all the accolades, the Wilpons might be hesitant on signing Markakis due to the fact that he is 35 years old and coming off his best season in eight years. This could lead to Markakis demanding a three or four-year contract. This is something the Mets upper brass would be hesitant in giving out, especially if at $15-$17 million a year.
Jones, on the other hand, would seem to be more an of ideal bargain fit for the Mets, given that he is coming off his worst year in a decade and is a right-handed bat. Like Markakis, Jones can play a solid right field and hit for both gap power in doubles as well as for home runs and RBI’s. He has averaged 80 RBI over his last five seasons.
Before last season, Jones was averaging 29 home runs a year from 2011 to 2017. Given this, we know the power is there. However, a low .317 OBP and a high strikeout rate over the last six seasons does leave something to be desired.
With declining power and production numbers at the plate, this acquisition would certainly be a gamble for the Mets front office to make, but one that could pay off in spades if the Orioles legend is able to revive himself with a change of scenery on a temporary one-year deal.
Should Van Wagenen and the Mets front office decide to go with someone a little more in the prime of their career and who is affordable for the output that can be achieved, they can always look to pick up third baseman free agent Mike Moustakas.
The “Moose” is a 30 year old, defensively elite, corner infielder that can hit for home runs, RBIs and doubles. Moustakas averaged 33 home runs and 90 RBIs over his last two seasons as well as posted a WAR of 2.5. He is durable, averaging 150 starts a year over the last two years.
More importantly, Moustakas would be bringing a fiery and competitive spirit to the Mets clubhouse, something that could rub off on the mild-mannered natures of Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario in a positive way. For the right price on a two-year deal, he is someone the Wilpons and their new GM should seriously consider.