While there have been rumors swirling around that the Mets are done adding significant pieces to their outfield following the acquisition of center fielder Keon Broxton,they cannot go into the 2019 season with what they currently have on the outfield depth chart.
Broxton, the 28-year-old (soon to be 29 in May) defensive specialist, brings speed and defense to the table, but an inconsistent offensive skill set with an underwhelming career line of .221/.313/.421. His best season came in 2016 when the right-hander hit .242/.354/.430 with nine home runs, 23 stolen bases, and 1.7 fWAR.
Despite putting up a 20-20 season in 2017 with 20 home runs and 21 stolen bases, Broxton was sent down to AAA in the last week of July for struggling at the plate with a .218/.294/.430 line and leading the league in strikeouts with 124. He would later be replaced in the upcoming 2018 offseason when the Brewers upgraded in center field by acquiring, Lorenzo Cain Via free agency.
Realistically, it would be “head scratching” for the Mets to pair Broxton with often injured Juan Lagares, who hasn’t played more than 94 games since 2015. The only way this move makes sense is if the Mets plan on dealing Lagares to free up the $9 million they owe him this year, in order to add another piece in the outfield.
One of the more underrated candidates, who should be on the Mets list is outfielder, Nick Markakis.
Unfortunately, A.J. Pollock and Bryce Harper have been basically ruled out leaving a weak outfield market behind. The Mets current starting outfield is likely Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Lagares.
Coming off his first All-Star Season at the age of 34, Markakis posted a 2.6 WAR and produced a slash line of .297/.366/.440, as well as slugging 14 homers and knocking in 93 runs.
Markakis, is a steady defensive outfielder posting a UZR of 1.4 with 2 DRS, and also provides durability playing in all 162 games last year, and appearing in 155+ games every year since 2012 (104), which was the only year he ever played less than 147.
To further prove that last year was no fluke, his average career line is .288/.358/.424. Markakis brings durability, consistency, and veteran leadership, which would eliminate one major question mark the Mets currently have in the outfield.
Due to his age and arguably coming off the best year of his career, Markakis will most likely be looking for a 2-3 year deal worth $8-12 million per season. Given the type of deals older players are getting, it’s possible that the 35-year-old Markakis will have to settle for a one-year deal with an option or a low AAV, two-year deal.
By going out and adding a consistent veteran such as Markakis, the Mets would ultimately solidify their outfield situation, and fill a large hole heading into the 2019 season. It is now up to Brodie to finish his promise of “going for it” this offseason by putting a perennial winner out on the field this season.