Mets Sign Former Yankee Free Agent to Bolster Outfield

The New York Mets' outfield received a boost on Thursday in the form of Harrison Bader, who previously spent time with the Yankees during parts of the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Former Yankees OF Harrison Bader has returned to New York on a one-year deal with the Mets.
Former Yankees OF Harrison Bader has returned to New York on a one-year deal with the Mets. / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets outfield will have a new look once the 2024 MLB season begins. It was revealed on Thursday that the Mets have signed outfielder Harrison Bader to a one-year, $10.5 million contract, per SportsNet New York's Andy Martino.

New York baseball fans should be familiar with Bader's name. The 29-year-old was born and raised in Bronxville and even spent parts of the 2022 and 2023 seasons in the Yankees' lineup.

Mets Roster News: Harrison Bader Signs One-Year Contract

Bader heads into his eighth MLB campaign after spending the 2023 season with the Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. He played a total of 98 games between the franchises, slashing .232/.274/.348 while tallying seven home runs, 40 RBIs, 20 stolen bases, and 17 walks.

The 29-year-old has also earned a reputation as one of the better defenders in the Majors. He won a Gold Glove with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021 and has demonstrated the ability to produce defensive results anywhere in the outfield.

Bader joins a strong outfield group that already boasts the likes of Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, and Tyrone Taylor, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on Dec. 20. There's also DJ Stewart, who could potentially play designated hitter after crushing 11 home runs in 58 games last season (on pace for 31 HRs in 162 games).

In other words, manager Carlos Mendoza will have plenty of options when it comes to outfield formations.

Hopefully, returning to his home state will get Bader back on track. While he's never been known for his bat, his offensive numbers have dipped over the last few seasons. A healthy campaign with a competitive roster around him could be a recipe for success.

And after being waived by the Yankees in August, it'll be interesting to see if Bader can get some revenge on his former team when the Subway Series comes around. The Mets will host the Yankees for two games at Citi Field on June 25/26 before the rivals meet again at Yankee Stadium on July 23/24.

In the meantime, time will tell if Bader's presence is enough to help the Mets win their first World Series since 1986. As of Jan. 4, they are tied for the 11th-best 2024 World Series odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.