New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares is drawing trade interest according to Mike Puma of the New York Post. Puma theorizes that the Mets could trade him and use the $4.5 million he’s due in 2017 to help upgrade the bullpen.
The Mets have yet to add a reliever this offseason on major league contract as two relievers who finished the 2016 with them are still free agents in lefty Jerry Blevins and righty Fernando Salas. Mets closer Jeurys Familia is also looking at a possible suspension stemming from his arrest earlier this offseason.
Lagares, 27, played in just 79 games for the Mets in 2016 and hit .239/.301/.380 with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs, nine RBI and four stolen bases. Lagares missed a portion of the season after having surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb. He came back late in the season, but was available mostly as a defensive replacement.
The 2014 Gold Glover did move better in the outfield this past season and had 8 defensive runs (14th best among all outfielders) saved in only 344.1 innings in center field.
Lagares is owed $4.5 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019. The deal also includes a $9.5 million option for 2020 that has a $500,000 buyout.