The New York Mets may be in the market for an outfielder this winter and the Boston Red Sox have three men to potentially target. Which one makes the most sense?
This offseason, we should expect to hear whispers about the New York Mets making medium to big splashes in the free agent and trade market. How much they do and how far they go to improve the roster is largely dependent on the financial flexibility of the front office. The team is inching closer to the luxury tax, giving ownership a reason to hesitate to pay the best players.
The most obvious way around spending is via trade. Fortunately, the Boston Red Sox are expected to make an attempt to reduce their team’s payroll. For the Mets, this means a potential trade.
Specifically, it seems the three starting outfielders are potential fits for the Mets. Each could maybe play center field in 2020, adding their own strengths to the roster. Let’s look at which one of them makes the most sense.
Andrew Benintendi has been the Red Sox left fielder, but could slot in as an unnatural center fielder for the Mets if needed. Alternatively, we could see New York continue to use Michael Conforto and/or Brandon Nimmo in the outfield grass beyond second base with Benintendi staying in the corner.
The best thing to like about Benintendi is his age. This year will be his age 25 campaign, checking off the “youth” box with a thick line.
Benintendi is far from the perfect fit, though. He’s a left-handed hitter with less home run power than Conforto. This shouldn’t completely remove him from their list of targets, but it does drop him a few points. Why add something for what would likely be a steep price when you already have a close clone on the roster?
As far as the Red Sox outfielders go, I would rank Benintendi as my least favorite fit for the Mets even if he has the most control. The young man won’t hit free agency for three more seasons, making him a solid acquisition a team won’t have to worry about losing for long enough to reap the rewards.