Juan Lagares could be the Mets’ starting center fielder in 2018, snagging balls for some new faces in the bullpen.
The New York Mets have some questions to answer entering next season. One of them is who will join Yoenis Cespedes in the outfield? With Michael Conforto presumably missing the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury, the Mets have two outfield spots open.
Defensive wizard Juan Lagares could take one of those spots, per Newsday‘s Marc Carig.
Sounds like Lagares may get a lot of time in CF, even if his value is tied almost entirely to his glove. Also, Mets seriously looking at a class of relievers that would take multi-year deals ie: Reed, Minor, Morrow, Shaw. For Alderson,both would be a shift in course.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 13, 2017
Lagares has been slowed by both injuries and a crowded outfield picture over the past two years, playing only 94 games last season and 79 the year before that. His bat hasn’t developed like the Mets would have liked, as he’s hit just .257 and doesn’t add any power.
However, with a spacious outfield and a team built around pitching—when healthy at least—it makes sense to get a few strong defensive players in the lineup.
The Mets may also go after a top-end relief pitcher. This is huge news for the Mets, who struggled with the bullpen in 2017. For reference, here’s a list of relief pitchers who put up ERAs under 4.00 for the team last year.
Addison Reed (traded to the Red Sox, currently a free agent) – 2.57
Jerry Blevins – 2.94
Josh Edgin – 3.65
Chasen Bradford – 3.74
That’s it. Four relief pitchers were able to post an ERA under 4.00. That needs to change. Luckily, the Mets have the opportunity, and, apparently, the willingness, to fix the problem.