The New York Mets front office has done a phenomenal job at this point in the offseason shoring up the holes that were on this roster as they approached the offseason earlier this winter. They arguably look like a better team going into the 2023 season than they did going into 2022. However, there is still some work to do before opening day for General Manager Billy Eppler and company to tackle.
One area on the 26-man roster that could still use a significant upgrade is the lack of a fourth outfielder. Currently on the Mets roster, the options for the outfield include Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, Darin Ruf, and Khalil Lee. Jeff McNeil could also spend some time in a corner outfield spot some nights, but for the most part, the Mets surely could use an upgrade over Khalil Lee.
No disrespect to Khalil Lee as I believe he will turn out to be a solid Major League baseball player one day but he is unproven and on a team that is trying to win right now, it would be better served for them to have a proven commodity they can rotate in the outfield. I wanted to take a look at three outfield options who are still free agents and could possibly make a difference for the Mets and fill that role adequately.
1) NY Mets outfield target: Adam Duvall
I believe over the next week or so outfielder Adam Duvall will be one of the next free-agent outfielders to find a home and one landing spot that makes complete sense is Queens, New York. Duvall who was a Gold Glove Award winner back in 2021 also possesses raw power and he could solidify the Mets bench with his presence.
It's also important to remember Duvall was a vital piece to the Atlanta Braves postseason run in 2021 and led the National League in RBIs. In that same season, Duvall also had 19 Defensive Runs Saved which was tied for the most by any outfielder in baseball.
Last season in his injury-shortened campaign (torn wrist tendon) with the arch-rival Braves, Duvall had hit 12 home runs to go along with 36 RBIs and 16 doubles in 86 games. While those numbers were down from his stellar 2021 campaign in which he also struck out at a 32% clip, Duvall still has the offensive ability to hit 30 home runs and play solid defense.
The Mets would be investing in a bounce-back season from the 34-year-old Duvall, but with the expectation of him joining the ballclub as a fourth outfielder, there wouldn't be as much added pressure on him going into next season as if he were a starter. With the ban of the shift, Duvall may also reap more rewards at the plate as he had been shifted upon in over 70% of his plate appearances last season.