Mar. 03, 2017
Future of the Mets Outfield
After a winter full of speculation and trade rumors regarding Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets, both still find themselves as Mets and will go into the 2017 season playing for the team.
That begs the question: what exactly is the future of the Mets outfield especially after this season? To answer that question, you have to take a look at the various options available within the Mets system and examine the best path for the team moving forward.
After the 2017 regular season, both Granderson and Bruce will hit the free agent market, assuming that neither one is extended by the Mets, which looks definitive at this point. The Mets are a team that just awarded leftfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, with a four-year, $110 million dollar contract that runs through 2020 and probably won't want to tie their hands with another player extension.
Therefore, Cespedes looks to be the Mets leftfielder of the future barring any change of direction or change of thinking within the Mets front office.
Assuming Granderson and Bruce make it through the regular season and find time to play among a crowded outfield, both will likely be the primary centerfielder and rightfielder. As for the fourth outfielder job, that will most likely be awarded to Michael Conforto which leaves both Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares out of a job at the big league level.
Depending on where the Mets are come the trade deadline in July will dictate whether or not they entertain trade offers on Granderson and/or Bruce. If one or both are expendable at that point, then New York might look to trade one or both to a contending team for a package of prospects in return. It's always better to try and get a return for a pending free agent rather than letting them walk and risk not getting anything back in return.
On the other hand, the Mets brass might also decide to finish the year with both Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce to help them make a postseason run and contribute to the teams offense which was already lagging prior to last year's trade deadline when the Mets acquired, Jay Bruce, from the Cincinnati Reds. If this scenario plays out, then it would allow both Brandon Nimmo and Juan Lagares to get as many at bats down in Triple-A and get a September roster callup.
Whether or not Granderson or Curtis stick around past this season, has yet to be seen, but if the Mets do lose one or both of them to free agency it wouldn't be the end of the world. Assuming that both finish the 2017 season in a Mets uniform and neither one is offered an extension, New York would turn to Juan Lagares as it's everyday centerfielder, Michael Conforto as their everyday rightfielder, and Brandon Nimmo as the team's fourth outfielder heading into the 2018 season.
Of course, you could argue that it's not the most potent outfield in the league in terms of offense, but the Mets do have enough depth incase they lose both Granderson and Curtis to free agency and are unable to make a trade or sign another free agent outfielder next off season.
For now, New York will look to Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce to prove themselves among a crowded outfield and hope that both provide some sort of worth in a year that the team hopes to find itself in the playoff chase.