Yesterday, the New York Mets made what is likely to be their biggest move of the off-season. They reached an agreement with free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to bring him back to New York for the next four seasons that will make him the highest paid Mets player ever (at least in terms of average annual value.
And that’s great. No, really, it is – the 2017 Mets will be a lot more fun to watch with Cespedes in the lineup than without him.
But at least according to published reports, Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson‘s next off-season priority is trading away RF Jay Bruce or CF Curtis Granderson.
The 2016 Mets were tied for 25th in the majors in runs scored despite ranking 5th in home runs. And since it seems like the offensive game plan is going to be the same in next year, don’t you want to have a deeper lineup where all three of your starting outfielders are legitimate 20+ home run threats?
But ok, Cespedes is a Gold Glove left fielder, while neither Bruce nor Granderson are considered strong defensive players. Maybe Alderson is trying to shore up the defense in a deal? Nope… at least not according to what Newsday’s Marc Carig is hearing. The Mets are hoping to unload one of their outfielders for “prospects or even a controllable bullpen piece.”
If Bruce is traded, Granderson would play center and presumably Michael Conforto would inherit right…perhaps in a platoon with Juan Lagares. If Granderson gets traded, Bruce plays right and Conforto and Lagares platoon in center.
So unless Conforto figures out how to hit curveballs this winter and starts living up to the promise we saw when he first came up in 2015, we’re probably looking at an offense that will be very similar to what we watched last year.
And I don’t think I have to remind anyone that wasn’t always a whole lot of fun.
But at least we don’t have to find out how much worse the Mets’ offense could look without Cespedes. So we’ve got that going for us, which is something.
With the start of spring training just days away, we’ve reached the point in the off-season where free agents get ready to take minor league contracts with invitations to major league camp.
On Wednesday, former Mets reliever Carlos Torres signed with the Atlanta Braves organization.
Today, former Mets reliever Eric O’Flaherty signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.
And former Mets first baseman Ike Davis has been approached by the New York Yankees, who find themselves in need of a regular first baseman in Triple-A as the result of Greg Bird‘s season-ending injury.
As we get closer to the start of spring training, teams are looking to fill those last few holes and players are trying to make sure they have some place to report.
The Mets signed former Washington Nationals outfielder Roger Bernadina to a minor league contract on Monday and invited him to major league spring training. With four starting outfielders for three spots, plus Alejandro de Aza earning $5.75 million as the team’s fifth outfielder, the Mets seem unlikely to need Bernadina — at least to start the season. But this is a decent depth signing that gives the Las Vegas 51s a more experienced team and gives the Mets an option with major league experience should they need another outfielder.