The New York Mets missed out on their top center field target in George Springer but are still in a great spot. They avoided a risky long-term deal and gave themselves flexibility with the future of their young stars for 2022 and beyond.
If the #Mets sign a true center fielder like a Jackie Bradley Jr, the defense on this team is *drastically* improved with the additions of James McCann, Francisco Lindor and let’s call it Bradley
And with DH seeming likely, you improve LF defense w/ Nimmo and 1B defense w/ Smith
— Joe DeMayo (@PSLToFlushing) January 20, 2021
A feeling of disappointment was the initial reaction to missing out on Springer, but the deal’s specifics soothed the pain. Combining Springer’s and Robinson Cano‘s AAV for the 2022 season and beyond would have made it extremely tough to lock up Michael Conforto and Francisco Lindor to long-term deals. It also makes re-signing Marcus Stroman and Noah Syndergaard a harder task.
Full-Time Center Fielder?
There is a good chance that Springer becomes a full-time corner outfielder before he is halfway through the contract. Springer has never played more than 80 games in center field and is slightly above average defensively. He would have been an immediate upgrade to center field defense, but Springer will likely fall off with the glove as the contract goes on. Putting Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field puts a bow on top of a brand new Mets defense.
Sustained success was one of Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson’s biggest points of emphasis. Ensuring Lindor and Conforto remain in Queens for the rest of their career is the starting point of consistent winning seasons. Retaining pitchers like Stroman and Syndergaard are next, along with retaining their other young stars.