The New York Mets made the statement of the year (so far) on Thursday, trading four players to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Francisco Lindor, an All-Star shortstop, and pitcher Carlos Carrasco.
Despite the considerable additions to the payroll that both players represent, the New York Mets still aren’t done building their roster towards the 2021 season. So far, they have filled their starting catcher position with James McCann, brought a top reliever in Trevor May, and traded for Lindor and Carrasco. But they still could use a center fielder.
Thankfully for Mets’ fans, the Lindor and Carrasco blockbuster doesn’t mean anything regarding the pursuit of George Springer. The 31-year-old center fielder is still a target according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Springer is perhaps the top offensive player available, along with catcher JT Realmuto. The former Houston Astro hit .265/.359/.540 (140 OPS+) with 13 homers in 222 plate appearances last season, with good defense. He was also spectacular in 2019, setting career highs in average, OBP, slugging, OPS+, WAR, home runs and RBI according to CBS Sports.
Another good center field option for the Mets: JBJ
Additionally, the Mets have been in contact recently with free agent Jackie Bradley Jr. according to MetsMerized online’s Michael Mayer.
JBJ, who has played his whole career with the Boston Red Sox to this point, is the second best center fielder on the free agent market. He is seen as a defensive wizard in center field, even moreso than Springer. He had a 118 OPS+ and 5 defensive runs saved in 2020.
With Springer said to be looking for at least $175 million this offseason, it is possible the Mets pivot to Bradley jr. He is not nearly as good with the bat as Springer, but wouldn’t cost as much and is a superior defensive player. Either way, the offseason is far from over for the hungry New York Mets.