An under the radar left field candidate for the Mets in 2024

He can offer a little bit of everything to the Mets in 2024.

Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians
Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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Sifting through the mashers and bashers who could play left field for the New York Mets in 2024, we find a whole bunch of guys who might not exactly meet the asking price David Stearns is willing to pay. If the Mets end up pivoting to Justin Turner for their primary DH role, it makes a little less sense to target some of those poor-fielding options in free agency.

In comes Eddie Rosario to the picture. A Gold Glove finalist in 2023, he’s one of four ex-Atlanta Braves who helped the team win the 2021 World Series still out there and a match for the Mets. Alongside Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall, we find a guy that may end up being a more believable addition to the Mets roster.

Why Eddie Rosario makes sense for the Mets

Knowing exactly what Rosario can do is a challenge considering how much his game has changed in recent seasons. With the Minnesota Twins for his first six years in the majors, Rosario was a .277/.310/.478 hitter with three straight seasons of hitting 20+ home runs. He managed to hit 21 last year with the Braves, surpassing the 20-homer-mark for the first time since 2019.

It’s not that Rosario has completely lost his power. The shortened 2020 campaign followed by seasons of playing 111 and then 80 games limited his opportunity. As a member of a Braves club where everyone hit homers, Rosario’s 2023 accomplishments in this category don’t signal that he’s “back” but do serve as a reminder of how productive of a bat he can be.

Rosario last reached free agency two winters ago. He re-signed with Atlanta for a two-year deal worth $18 million. A seemingly fair market value, would he be willing to settle on a one-year contract this time around following two somewhat lean seasons?

Exactly how much are the Mets willing to pay for an outfielder? The 32-year-old Rosario shouldn’t cost a ton. Given the abundance of options out there, he may be forced into taking a shorter deal, too.

If the Mets truly are in a transitional phase where they won’t sign anyone else to a contract longer than a season, we can forget about many of the alternatives. They’ve shown this offseason how much they care about defense. Rosario, as a lefty swinger, adds to an already balanced Mets lineup and more so if Turner ends up back in Queens.

It’s not flashy, but it definitely is a move following the theme of the offseason. You won’t run through a brick wall for Stearns if he chose Rosario for left field. You also wouldn’t bash your head against it.

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