Mets: Gold Glove-caliber players that can change baseball in Flushing
By Leen Amin
Although these three players bring their bats to the ballpark each day, the New York Mets could benefit from having them solely for the work they do on defense.
The New York Mets put together a respectable season in 2019 and will be looking to go even further next year.
General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen picked the manager of his choosing in Carlos Beltran and will need to have a great offseason if he hopes to maintain a long-term position as part of the organization.
The Mets are known for being a poor defensive team, so adding Gold Glove-caliber players is almost a must. Let’s take a look at some of those players that the Mets should seriously consider adding this winter to rewrite their reputation as a poor defensive squad.
3B Anthony Rendon
Anthony Rendon is someone who any team would be lucky to have just based on his offense. He has slashed .290/.369/.490 throughout his career and has 136 HRs and 546 RBI. His 2019 season was the most impressive of his career: he slashed .319/.412/.598, hit 34 HRs and an NL-leading 44 doubles as well as batting in an MLB-leading 126 runs. He will finish at the top of NL MVP voting, as well.
The fact that Rendon is a great fielder makes him even more appealing to teams. He almost consistently makes highlight-reel plays and his glove is invaluable. In September, the Washington Nationals offered the 29-year-old, who is a free agent, a seven-year $210-215 million contract.
The Mets are unlikely to match that because it is such a big contract and because they are not known for spending big, but it is absolutely something they need to think about, especially because of their situation at third base.
Todd Frazier will almost certainly not be back and although J.D. Davis had a surprisingly good season, we don’t know if he’s the real deal and he isn’t a good defensive third baseman. Rendon’s glove would be a more than welcome addition to a bad defensive infield.
OF Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig is known for being an energetic player who is a very good hitter and a fantastic defensive outfielder. His bat would be a great addition to the Mets lineup, but his glove would be even more valuable.
The Mets’ outfield is defensively unimpressive, and Puig is undoubtedly a Gold Glove-caliber player. He was arguably snubbed of the award in 2017 when he made jaw-dropping plays on a regular basis.
Puig is a right fielder and has played the vast majority of his career at that position, but he has played 519.1 innings in center field, a position that the Mets have an issue with. Long-time Met Juan Lagares’ time with the team is almost certainly over, and the team will be looking to replace him by adding a good defensive replacement.
Puig’s numbers are much better in right field but if the Mets do acquire him, they can try an experiment in center. His glove is just that good. Acquiring someone like Puig would allow fans and management to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have such a good defender in that outfield.
OF Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts has become one of the best players in baseball and it really does seem as though the Boston Red Sox will not look to re-sign him when he becomes a free agent next year. This means that they will most likely look to trade him.
For the Mets, this is a similar situation to Rendon: they will have to give up quite a bit in a trade and he will be looking for a mega-deal come next year, which the Mets tend to steer clear of. But because Betts is such a good player, it’s difficult to not entertain the thought.
The 2018 AL MVP has had quite the career, both offensively and defensively as well as on the base paths. He is a Gold Glove winner and is one of the best defensive right fielders in baseball. Again, the Mets have a poor defensive outfield, so Betts’ phenomenal glove would help a great deal. Fans know better than to get their hopes up but they can’t help but dream of adding a generational player like Betts.
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Puig is definitely the most realistic option for the Mets of these three phenomenal defensive players, but any of them would help the team immensely. Adding an elite defensive player is a must and would increase the Mets’ chances of making a deep run next year.