According to a report from Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Mets are one of several teams among the possibilities to sign free agent left-handed outfielder Denard Span, along with the Tigers, Marlins, Indians, and White Sox.
The Mets have done a decent job of acquiring some outfield depth this offseason, with the acquisitions of Keon Broxton, Gregor Blanco, and Rajai Davis, but Span would still serve as a quality option off the bench. He would be ahead of Blanco and Davis and possibly Broxton on the depth chart.
Span is 34 now, and can’t play a great center field like he used to be able to. In fact, he played almost exclusively in left field last year for the Rays and Mariners, where he was only mediocre defensively.
Despite his defensive decline, which shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering his age, he still has some offensive value. Span hit for a solid 112 wRC+ last year, and 101 the year before, so he can still hit a little.
It’s a little bit tough to see where Span would fit into the Mets’ plans, especially with it being announced that Jeff McNeil is going to play in the outfield a lot. Signing Span could possibly move McNeil back to getting more time in the infield, while Span plays in left with defensive-minded center fielders Broxton and Juan Lagares on the bench. The Mets could very well be prompted to make a move like this, especially with McNeil’s defense in the outfield being a question mark and if third baseman Jed Lowrie‘s injury turns out to be more serious than originally expected.
So while the outfield is starting to get a bit crowded, signing Span would not be such a bad idea as he is better than a lot of the Mets’ current depth options. They don’t need him, but it would be a decent addition. It will be interesting to see if the Mets pursue this option any further.
It is unclear whether the signing of Span would be on a major league or minor league deal. Regardless, it would likely be a relatively cheap deal.