Mets: Three positions they could go the cheap route with this winter
By Tim Boyle
A cheaper center fielder can bring the Mets other intangibles
The Mets are probably going to roll with Brandon Nimmo as the starting center fielder yet again in 2021. Unless he’s traded or a few other big moves take place, I don’t see anything else happening.
But let’s think about some possible changes the club could make and what we want from a center fielder.
The chance of seeing Mookie Betts patrolling Citi Field 81 times a year evaporated when the Los Angeles Dodgers signed him to an extension. There are some other notable center fielders in free agency this winter. I won’t roll off those names and instead focus on what it is the Mets could use out there.
For a few years, the Mets have lacked center field defense. Juan Lagares was superb in his prime. Those years are long gone. A guy who played like him during his best years, though, wouldn’t cost all that much. Imagine a Gold Glove-caliber center fielder helping out whoever it is the Mets put in left field. Add in some speed and suddenly the team has an intangible they’ve been missing.
Like catcher, center field is a position I feel a team can get away with paying a player less than he deserves. Position players tend to get paid for what their bats do. If, for instance, the Mets are looking for a change out there, they can easily snag a center fielder making much less than Betts and even Nimmo to give them some more stability out there.
Again, this would require the team to build offense around a defensive stud with a limited bat. I don’t want a .220 hitter in center field with a Gold Glove if the rest of the team cannot hit.