Mets sign minor league outfielder for depth

Simeon Woods-Richardson
Mar 23, 2019; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; A view of the Grapefruit League logo on the hat of New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) prior to the game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are making a new signing, although it isn’t the high-profile acquisition fans have grown accustomed to in recent times. Because of the lockout, teams can’t make any major league moves, so all free agent transactions done until there is a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will have to be of the minor league variety.

The Mets, therefore, are bringing in old friend Johneshwy Fargas on a minor league deal. He plays the outfield and will have to compete with a lot of players just to crack the major league roster eventually: Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Dominic Smith, Jeff McNeil, and JD Davis can all play in his position.

Fargas himself announced the move via Twitter. He is 27 years old and was a free agent after being outrighted in October and choosing to enter the market.

The Mets’ speedster offers stolen base potential

Fargas was drafted in 2013 by the San Francisco Giants and showed his speed in several seasons, including a 50-steal campaign at Double-A in 2019. He went to the Mets in 2021 and had a .286/.286/.524 line with a 115 wRC+ there, but in limited playing time (22 plate appearances).

Between the Mets and the Cubs in 2021, Fargas hit .250/.264/.385 with a 73 wRC+ in 54 plate appearances. His upside is limited and is seen as organizational depth in the outfield, but he is speedy and can also contribute a solid glove.

Between Double-A, Triple-A, and the major leagues, Fargas collected 18 stolen bases in 2021. It’s his only plus tool.

Fargas’ only path to reliable playing time with the Mets’ big league team, however, is a rash of injuries like the one that attacked the roster in the first half of the season. Besides the already mentioned names ahead of him in the depth chart, the Mets also have some prospects competing with him for reps in the outfield, such as Khalil Lee, for example.