First, let me apologize for the no-show the past few days. I’ve been recovering from an eye procedure and things are rather blurry.
However, what remains clear to me are what are the Mets’ needs with spring training less than a month away. ESPN recently wrote the Mets are looking for a center fielder, but with possibly six outfielders on the roster, that can’t possibly be their top priority.
If it is, then that has to be an indictment of how poorly this roster has been constructed. They already have a Gold Glove Award winner in Juan Lagares, to whom they signed to a four-year contract. The Mets aren’t happy with Lagares’ ability to hit right-handed pitchers. If that’s the case, then why give him a long-term deal?
They are toying with the idea of moving Curtis Granderson from right to center. Because they signed Yoenis Cespedes, who refuses to play center – when they brought him back after the 2015 season it was under the belief from him he would play center – it means finding a place for Michael Conforto.
Last spring, when Cespedes was healthy and in center, and Conforto was on a tear, manager Terry Collins said he was the Mets’ future No. 3 hitter.
Now, they don’t know where Conforto will play, other than it won’t be in left. That’s because they promised the position – and $110 million over the next four years – to Cespedes.
With the logjam in center, that means there’s not an immediate place for Brandon Nimmo. As of now, he could probably be ticketed to Vegas.
If they move Granderson to center, that leaves Jay Bruce in right. They traded for Bruce after Cespedes was injured and the Mets’ offense sputtered. Bruce’s option was picked up despite a poor few months with the Mets.
GM Sandy Alderson was clear in saying it was to guard against Cespedes opting out of his contract and signing elsewhere. Alderson also wasn’t shy in saying if Cespedes returned he would trade Bruce.
You don’t sign a player as a hedge. You sign a player only if you value and want to keep him. How Alderson handled Bruce greatly reduced his trade value and now the Mets are expecting him for spring training and possibly Opening Day.
So, as of now the Mets have $110 million earmarked in left field; a Gold Glove Award winner in center they don’t trust with a bat; a center fielder moving over from right; a right fielder they don’t want; and two highly-touted prospects they don’t have immediate plans where to play.