The New York Mets may have missed out on two of the biggest free agents of the offseason. But at least they landed a solid defensive option in center field!
What initially looked like a big offseason for the New York Mets has fizzled out. The team landed free-agent catcher James McCann in December and then pulled off an enormous trade to bring in shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians. Both moves came after deep-pocketed new owner Steve Cohen took control of the team on Nov. 6. Those moves and a slew of rumors and reports implied that the Mets weren’t done, looking to add additional big names with cost a considerably less important barrier than it had been with the team’s previous owners.
After the Lindor trade, the Mets were rumored to be in the hunt for George Springer, who eventually signed a $150 million deal with the Blue Jays. Then they were supposed to be all in on Trevor Bauer, who ended up signing a $102 million contract with the Dodgers. Then rumors intensified that the Mets were after Jackie Bradley Jr. Nothing has been cemented on that front but the Mets have announced the signing of Albert Almora.
What can Albert Almora do for the New York Mets?
Almora is regarded as a good defensive center fielder and will likely split time with Brandon Nimmo. But, as R.J. Anderson pointed out at CBS, he’s not likely to offer much at the plate:
“Over the last three seasons, he’s hit .261/.299/.373 with 17 home runs and three stolen bases (on seven tries). Almora’s 76 OPS+ during that span ranks 215th out of 222 players with at least 800 plate appearances.”
Depth is important for every team and signing Almora isn’t a bad move necessarily. But it certainly looks dispiriting and disappointing coming so soon after so many enormous free agent misses. Hopefully, Mets’ fans can keep their eyes on the positive changes this offseason and the idea that institutional advantages Cohen’s ownership brings won’t be fully realized in just a few months.