Now that the 2019 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of season from A (Pete Alonso) to Z (Daniel Zamora). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at center fielder Juan Lagares.
Player Review: Juan Lagares
2019 Stats: 133 Games, 258 At Bats, .213 Batting Average, 55 Hits, 12 Doubles, 1 Triple, 5 Home Runs, 27 RBI’s, 38 Runs Scored, 4 Stolen Bases, .605 OPS
Story: After a busy offseason, the Mets didn’t appear to have much of a role for Juan Lagares. With Jeff McNeil being moved to left field and Brandon Nimmo starting most of the time in center, Lagares was back to his usual duties of defensive replacement and the occasional start against left handed pitching. Playing time started to open up for Lagares as injuries began to mount, and he got regular at bats for a solid three week stretch in late July and early August, where he was decently productive. Once the Mets started to get healthy, however, Lagares’ at bats dried up and he didn’t do much down the stretch.
Lagares was a solid defender once again, but his bat continued to underwhelm for the Mets.
Contract Status: $9.5 Million Team Option for 2020 (Mets have $500,000 buyout)
Odds of Returning: 10%
2020 Role: None
There is no shot the Mets are going to give Lagares $9.5 million in 2020, so they will buy him out and send Lagares to free agency. The Mets will probably look to upgrade the center field position this offseason, but there is a chance that the two sides could look to reunite late in the winter if the Mets haven’t found a replacement. Lagares would be looking at a significant pay cut, however, and potentially need to earn his job with a minor league deal.
Check back tomorrow as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Walker Lockett!