After an offseason of trying to trade OFs Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, the New York Mets are receiving strong interest in CF Juan Lagares.
According to Mike Puma of the NY Post, the New York Mets have received trade interest from at least one team in ex-Gold Glove centerfielder Juan Lagares – a move that would give the team an extra $4.5 million in cap space to add towards relief help.
Sounds like Juan Lagares is drawing some interest. Mets could potentially use that $4.5 million for 2017 toward the bullpen.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) February 2, 2017
The Mets have finally accepted that interest has dwindled in outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson this offseason, as general manager Sandy Alderson has proclaimed Bruce the team’s starting right fielder for most or all of 2017.
Alderson has been adamant about wanting to hold on to at least Granderson, as he is currently the only member of the roster who can handle center field duties, while still possessing a solid bat.
The 27-year-old Lagares won his first and only Gold Glove in 2014, but his bat hasn’t come around nearly as much as the Mets imagined when they singed him to a four-year contract extension worth $23 million in 2015. The deal also includes a $9.5 million fifth-year option for 2020.
That season, Lagares looked like a future Mets stalwart, as the righty hit .281 with four home runs, 47 RBIs and 13 stolen bases over just 416 at-bats.
But since then, the Dominican has hit just .254/.292/.364 with nine homers, 50 RBIs and only 11 stolen bases – numbers very similar to 2015, although it took 222 games to do it this time.
If Lagares remains in Queens, he will likely cede most of his at-bats to the starting three of Granderson, Bruce and the returning Yoenis Cespedes, with youngster Michael Conforto being the first in line to receive playing time outside of that trio.
The cap space that would clear if Lagares was moved would help the Mets eliminate their lack of southpaws in the bullpen, and could possibly even lead to the signing back of LHP Jerry Blevins.
Blevins managed a 2.79 ERA in 2016, while striking out 52 in 42 innings tossed.
Reports have recently shown that Alderson has cooled off on his original plan against signing relievers past a one-year deal, as Blevins has been on the prowl for a two-year contract all offseason.