NY Mets signed free agent Starling Marte to give them things they didn’t already have
With Starling Marte, the only criticism tossed his direction in the post-lockout era seems to be his age. An oblique injury has raised questions about whether he was the right guy to add or not. Previously expected to start in center field for at least the 2022 season, Marte could find himself playing a lot more right field or left field as soon as this season.
Marte was easily the best free agent center fielder out there. And while you could make the argument Brandon Nimmo was fully capable of playing the position, does it hurt to have two guys who can?
Despite his age (33) and a preseason injury, the performance on the field tells us he is not yet ready to slow down. Marte stole 47 bases last year and hit .310. It wasn’t some sort of kick in the pants after getting into a pennant race either. He already had 22 stolen bases with the Miami Marlins and was hitting .305 before joining the Athletics. He continued to play well with the A’s, hitting .316 and swiping another 25 bags in only 56 games.
The Mets haven’t been a team built on speed for a very long time. Few teams have guys like Marte on the roster. Even if he isn’t quite up to the highest of expectations, Marte is a good batting average and OBP guy to have in the lineup.