Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets are listening to offers for outfielder Juan Lagares. No suitors have been named yet, and Puma adds that a deal may not come to fruition as Lagares is coming off of another injury-ravaged season and is still due $15.5 million through 2019.
Lagares, 28, completed his fifth run with the Mets in 2017. He earned 1.5 fWAR with the club in 94 games, slashing .250/.296/.365 with three home runs and seven stolen bases in 272 plate appearances. While he had a semi-productive season at the plate and on the field, Lagares missed over nine weeks on the disabled list with a lingering left oblique strain and left thumb surgery to repair a fractured joint in his finger.
In fact, Lagares hasn’t seen an injury-free season since his rookie campaign with the Mets in 2013. That could make any potential deal a tough sell, especially as the club would be expected to absorb some of the $15.5 million still left on his contract. Puma points out another three factors complicating future negotiations: the Mets’ lack of depth in center field, the plethora of cheaper, better center fielders crowding the market and the $10 million the club reportedly has left to spend this winter.
Their wish list currently includes a viable second baseman and another bat, and it looks like they’ll have to get creative to make both work. Further reports from FanRang Sports’ Jon Heyman indicate that the team is in no rush to execute a deal for the speedy center fielder and will likely hold out for offers that include some combination of second base, outfield and bullpen options.