NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 21: Juan Lagares #12 of the New York Mets makes the catch for the out in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Citi Field on August 21, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Mets sign Juan Lagares and Brian Dozier to strengthen their depth with Opening Day just a few days away. 

The New York Mets have announced that they’ve signed Juan Lagares and Brian Dozier to minor league deals. In a corresponding move, the Mets have released Melky Cabrera and Gordon Beckham.

Moving on from Melky Cabrera and Gordon Beckham isn’t a surprise. The two veterans had struggled throughout summer camp and didn’t provide any reason to keep them on the roster.

Cabrera is replaced by Juan Lagares. The defensive specialist spent his entire MLB career with Mets, but left in free agency following the 2019 season. Lagares was recently released by the San Diego Padres and has now found is way back to Queens.

Lagares is well known for his excellent defense in center field. That alone separates him from Cabrera, who is a dreadful defender. If Lagares can find his defensive form from 2018, he could be a valuable bench piece, especially with Jake Marisnick dealing with an injury.

Beckham was brought in because of his utility upside. He has played third base, second base, and shortstop in his MLB career and the Mets likely believed he could fit on the bench. His poor defense at shortstop and third base during summer camp made that impossible. He’s replaced by Brian Dozier.

From 2015-2017 Dozier was arguably the best second baseman in baseball. He suddenly fell off a cliff in 2018, but still played a role on back-to-back NL pennant winners.

He had been with the Padres on a minor league deal as well, but he was released due to poor offensive performance. The former Gold Glove winner was one of the worst defensive second basemen in MLB in 2019, but he does provide some value.

Despite his ever-decreasing batting average Dozier still provides some offensive punch. He hit 20 home runs in 2019 and had a walk rate over 12%. That power and ability to get on base makes him enough of an offensive threat to be an interesting bench piece.

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