Nick Markakis signed a 1 year deal worth $6 million with the Atlanta Braves today. This means two things: The market for outfielders might actually speed up (meaning more FA signings wooo!) and the outfield market is thinning.
Two notable outfielders left on the free agent market are Bryce Harper and AJ Pollock. The Mets have been linked to Pollock this off-season as they try to upgrade at center field.
Outfield is not our top priority at this point.- BVW (January 16,2019)
News flash: Lagares and Broxton in center field is not going to cut it.
Martino of SNY indicated that the Mets would be open to Pollock on a one year commitment, either through a pillow contract that would let him take another shot at free agency next year or a multi-year deal with an opt out after one season.
Lets look at the other teams linked to Pollock:
- Los Angeles Dodgers
- San Francisco Giants
- White Sox
- Philadelphia Phillies
- San Diego Padres
Why does Pollock make sense for the Mets?
He’d balance the lineup:
Pollock has a career 113 wRC+ (meaning he’s been 13 percent better than league average offensively), and he’s coming off a 110 wRC+ in 2018. He had some encouraging underlying numbers, too. Pollock’s 40.5 percent hard-hit rate was his highest under the four seasons of Statcast™ tracking (“hard-hit” being an exit velocity of at least 95 mph).
He’s a defensive upgrade:
Pollock has the speed and range to cover center field. Last year, Pollock was worth +6 Outs Above Average in the outfield — that’s Statcast™’s range-based metric for outfield defense, which grades outfielders based on the difficulty of balls they do or don’t get to.
He has speed (something the Mets lack)
Pollock’s average sprint speed was 28.2 feet per second last season, more than a foot per second better than the 27 ft/sec MLB average
Why the Mets should stay away from Pollock?
Pollock is averaging just 91 games played per season since making his debut in 2012 and 101 games per season from 2013 through 2017.