New York Mets get their center fielder in Albert Almora

Andres Chavez
New York Mets
Dec 7, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Mets sign and logo during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets didn’t quite sign a star center fielder. They failed to bring George Springer and they chose not to sign Jackie Bradley Jr., the second-best in the market after the former Astro and current Blue Jay.

Yet, the New York Mets needed to address the situation in the most important of the outfield positions, because even though Brandon Nimmo is a fantastic offensive contributor and a premier leadoff hitter, his defensive numbers in center were very bad.

Nimmo ranked in the 2nd percentile with -4 Outs Above Average (OAA), a Statcast metric, and according to Fangraphs, he had a -4.1 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR), a -19.2 UZR/150, and -5 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS.) He was bad according to just about every measure.

But the Mets are bringing a glove-first center fielder. He won’t replace Nimmo as the starter, but will presumably play a couple of times a week and serve as a defensive replacement.

The Mets are signing Albert Almora

Ken Rosenthal and Andy McCullough of The Athletic reported on Sunday morning that the Mets are in agreement on a deal with former Chicago Cubs center fielder Albert Almora.

The terms of the contract aren’t known at this point.

Almora, according to Rotoworld, could be the weak side of a platoon in center field given that he is right-handed and Nimmo is left-handed.

He was non-tendered by the Cubs a few weeks ago, as he regressed with the bat in 2020 (.167/.265/.200, 36 wRC+) and 2019 (.236/.271/.381, 64 wRC+) after a couple of respectable seasons offensively.

Almora is no Bradley Jr. in center, but he is very good and will likely help the Mets solidify the outfield defense. In 2019, he ranked in the 81st percentile in OAA and in the 92nd percentile in outfield jump.

After signing Almora, the New York Mets have addressed every one of their needs during the offseason and are considered favorites to at least secure a postseason spot.