Even as Mets fans are still grieving over the loss of Bartolo Colon to the Braves, the Mets are receiving trade interest for outfielder Juan Lagares. They could use his $4.5 million salary to address their bullpen, although they already did that be resigning both Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins. Yet they still might choose to trade Lagares. I recently read a blog post that discussed the pros and cons of this move. Here’s what they have to say:
- There are too many outfielders making too much money: Since the Mets weren’t able to trade Jay Bruce, their outfield, made up of him, Lagares, Granderson, Cespedes and Conforto has got a combined salary of more than $55 million. While most of these outfielders will see plenty of games, Lagares is mostly limited to a late-inning defensive replacement. So $4.2 million for a player with 15 at-bats a week and is mostly being used for his glove doesn’t make much financial sense.
- He’s not a “prospect” any more: Lagares is going on 28, and isn’t nearly as fit has he used to be. After he sprained his thumb, he wasn’t able to play as regularly last season. At some point, there isn’t going to be any more improvement.
- He’s got value: While the Mets aren’t in a dire need of center fielders, they’re still valuable. Lagares is signed through 2019 for $20.5 million, and is under team control through 2020 with a $9.5 million option.
- He’s the only actual center-fielder on their roster: As Granderson plays center fielder regularly for the first time in years, the Mets will need to replace him for defense in later innings.
- They need him for 2017 and beyond: Even though he’s mostly just a glove man, the Mets need help to balance out their young pitching and unmemorable offense.
- It’s against the Mets philosophy: General manager Sandy Alderson doesn’t want to give away players simply because they’re seen as valuable. Since the Mets didn’t want to give away Bruce simply to get him off the team, it’s unlikely they’ll do that with Lagares.