Mets trade for Keon Broxton and what it means for the rest of the team
By Joseph Romano
The New York Mets pulled off a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers to add Keon Broxton into their outfield mix. What does it mean for the rest of the team?
On Saturday, the New York Mets completed a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers to move outfielder Keon Broxton to Queens. In return, Bobby Wahl, Adam Hill, and Felix Valerio will go to the land of Happy Days and That 70’s Show.
Wahl was the right-handed reliever that was part of Oakland’s package in return for Jeurys Familia last season. Hill is another right-handed pitcher, who was drafted in the fourth round of 2018 by the Mets. Valerio is an 18-year-old second baseman, who was in the Mets minor league system.
Broxton has a great deal of upside both in terms of fielding and at the plate. He has compiled a quite impressive 13 defensive runs saved since 2016, which rates as 14th among all center fielders. This becomes even more encouraging when coupled with the fact that he barely had any playing time last season.
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In what amounts to under two full seasons at the MLB level, Broxton has totaled 33 home runs and 50 stolen bases. While this may not be elite level contributions, it does indicate there is much raw potential there, especially when extrapolated over a full-length season. He never truly had the proper playing time in the city famous for its beer and frigid weather. With more repetitions, he will be able to improve and with the Mets is in the best position to truly realize his full potential.
He may not be A.J. Pollock or Bryce Harper, yet this is a savvy addition for the cash-poor Mets. They can improve upon a position of need, as he possesses more potential than Juan Lagares, the former promising player who has often been the recipient of odd maladies. Torn thumb and toe ligaments have done the gifted center fielder in many a time, over his young career. This is not to suggest Broxton as his replacement, but perhaps he is.
They possess similar skill sets: both are gifted athletes, have potential power, can defend center field well, and pose a threat on the base paths. Lagares is older and has more money committed to his name, thus it causes one to view Broxton’s potential as more imminent.
One could reasonably conclude that Lagares should not be a starting outfielder due to lack of production and a myriad of injuries, whereas Broxton is far too young to make such a determination.
During his short tenure on the club aptly named after one of Milwaukee’s largest industries, Broxton compiled quite a bit more longballs than his center field counterpart has in six seasons in Flushing. Miller Park facilitates power hitters by providing a jetstream or wind tunnel type effect. This allows more balls to carry out of the park, but even with this considered the home run totals are still disparate.
I would not necessarily advocate trading Lagares because having such an outfield depth would be new and revitalizing for an organization that is so rarely thus. However, ideas should be discussed on how to better the still flawed roster.
Currently, they are in need of a left-handed reliever and possibly another infielder. The only circumstances that such a trade would be sensible under is to improve these portions of the roster. Yet, subtracting to add is not an avenue for success, especially with the severe lack of depth.
This roster probably could not withstand the loss of an outfielder like Lagares, even though he and the former-Brewer meet similar needs.
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They can, therefore, use the remaining salary to solidify the bullpen and complete the bench, filling out the entire roster.