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Best Mets center fielder candidates: Ranking five of the most enticing options

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates scoring on a Jose Altuve #27 RBI double during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 16: George Springer #4 of the Houston Astros celebrates scoring on a Jose Altuve #27 RBI double during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six of the American League Championship Series at PETCO Park on October 16, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 27: Jackie Bradley Jr. #19 of the Boston Red Sox in action during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park on September 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

If the Mets are looking to find an elite defender in center field this offseason they have to look no further than Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. who will be hitting the open market this winter. The 30-year old outfielder is long considered the best defensive center fielder in Red Sox history which is high praise considering the players who have patrolled center field at Fenway Park throughout the history of the historic franchise.

Bradley’s defensive statistics are ridiculous. Since entering the league in 2013, Bradley has only committed 17 errors in 781 career games played in center field. Bradley also ranks third among all active leaders in center field assists with 54. To add a cherry on top of those numbers, among all centerfielders in the history of baseball, JBJ holds the 31st best career fielding percentage at .991.

While Bradley has never been known much for his bat, he did hit .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 55 games played for the last-place Red Sox in 2020. While the numbers this season were great, Bradley is a .239 career hitter than contains some pop, as since 2016 Bradley has averaged 17 home runs a season.

This signing could be viewed as sacrificing a bit of offense for defense should the Mets make this move. It can be argued with how stacked the Mets starting lineup and potential bench is, this is a move that the Mets can afford to make to shore up their team’s defense, which is an area they should no longer ignore moving into 2021.

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