New York Mets: Mets are forcing Juan Lagares’ hand in a positive way

New York Mets. Juan Lagares (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
New York Mets. Juan Lagares (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets have been working on finding depth in the outfield all offseason now, but in an even better twist, the Mets are forcing Juan Lagares to be better.

The New York Mets were snake-bitten in the outfield position right from the get-go in 2018 when Juan Lagares went down for the year after playing in just 30 games.

However, it was announced this weekend that the Mets have made a deal for another player capable of playing centerfield.

The Mets made a deal for Keon Broxton. In return, the Mets sent to Milwaukee Bobby Wahl and prospects.

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The deal does not seem that special on the surface. The Mets just wanted to add more centerfield depth and have other options besides Lagares and platooning players.

However, the deal is ideal for the Mets in the sense that it forces Lagares’ hand. Lagares needs to play better now. He needs to be more than just a great glove and a body.

The Mets are coming off a season where they used the most amount of players ever. Sure there were some injury factors, but it is not a coincidence that it was also Mickey Callaway‘s first year.

So, that means that the Mets are going to stockpile talent. Each player is going to have to play well in order to keep playing. It is not rocket science.

I would say that the tentative plan for the Mets is to still have Juan Lagares be the starting center fielder on opening day.

He is a righty bat, a great glove, and has been there before. The Mets know what they have in him.

Despite all the recent injuries, I would take Lagares too.

There is no reason to move on from him or trade him yet. His .260 career average is nothing to gloat about, but I will take his 2014 gold glove award and consistent defense any day.

By adding Broxton, it gives the Mets options. Broxton is also a righty bat, not the best hitter with a .221 average, but known for his glove.

Broxton will be the backup and likely be called upon if needed for injury relief, much like he was with the Milwaukee Brewers last year.

But, what it also does is keep Lagares on his toes. Lagares is going to get the green light but needs to perform well.

If he doesn’t, the Mets should not be afraid to try to tap Broxton’s potential.

So, really all this does is add insurance. The Mets are also waiting for Yoenis Cespedes to comeback although I would argue that trading for Broxton means we might not see Cespedes for a while.

But, the Mets still have Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Lagares, now Broxton,

I would imagine this signing does not close the door on the Mets bringing in another body to put on the outfield through free agency.

But, don’t worry about this trade too much. It just provides much-needed depth in the outfield, and if anything it’ll force Juan Lagares to play better and light a spark in him.

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There are other true options now if he does not.