The Mets have already found their replacement for 31-year-old free-agent outfielder Juan Lagares, as they’ve acquired 28-year-old defensive wizard Jake Marisnick.
Jake Marisnick is headed to the Mets, sources confirm to ESPN. Two prospects will head back to the Astros. Neither is considered big-name. @Ken_Rosenthal had Marisnick going to New York.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2019
The deal will reportedly send two prospects back to the Astros, who part with an organizational favorite throughout his five-plus seasons there.
In acquiring Marisnick, the Mets have accomplished two things they strived for when the offseason began: Get cheaper and improve center field defense. Marisnick does both things that Lagares couldn’t.
Lagares made over $9 million a year ago, slashing .213/.279/.326 (a .605 OPS), negative two defensive runs saved, and a -6.1 UZR/150. None of those numbers jump off the page, and they very well shouldn’t.
Marisnick, on the other hand, is slated to make $3 million in arbitration this season and is coming off a season in which he posted a .700 OPS, with five defensive runs saved, and a 5.4 UZR/150.
Even with all of the strikeouts, the value Marisnick provides by simply being an above-average defender with a better bat than Lagares is staggering. It’s not the most eye-popping move, but it’s one that Mets fans shouldn’t be too upset about at dollar value.