7) Jackie Bradley Jr.
One of the big questions the Mets have to answer this offseason is who is going to play center field. Should they really keep Brandon Nimmo in center? Yes, his bat is great but he was among the worst center fielders defensively in all of baseball this season. I believe the Mets should look elsewhere for their center fielder.
The last time the Mets have had a legitimate starting center fielder who can both hit and defend was Carlos Beltran. Yes, it’s been that long. Guys like Angel Pagan weren’t here for very long and Juan Lagares really fell off after his Gold Glove season in 2014.
While Jackie Bradley Jr. probably won’t be the long-term solution, he’s certainly a worthy candidate for the present. Bradley has been an All-Star and a Gold Glove award winner in the past and was having one of, if not his best offensive season this year. Bradley slashed .283/.364/.450 with seven home runs and 22 RBI. His five stolen bases also would’ve been second on the team to Andres Gimenez.
If the Mets were to sign Bradley, it would be more for his glove than his bat. This Mets team already has a ton of firepower as they lead the majors in batting and were second in on base percentage. Bradley would fit in just fine hitting eighth or ninth most nights. If the Mets can get the kind of production that he had this season, that’s just icing on the cake.
Bradley was the American League Gold Glove Award winner in 2018 and has 54 career outfield assists which is the third most among active players. He also was worth 5 defensive runs saved, far better than Brandon Nimmo’s -2.
The Red Sox signed a very similar player in Kevin Pillar to a 1-year $4.25 million dollar deal last offseason. I think Bradley will go for more money but I think the Mets can get away with committing to him for only one year. If that’s the case, I would love bringing in the 2018 ALCS MVP to Queens.