According to various media reports the Mets have agreed to a four-year contract extension with CF Juan Lagares that also has a club option for the centerfielder’s first free agent year. The deal is pending a physical. The contract is expected to be worth around $23 million and is expected to start during the 2016 season.
Lagares would have been a Super Two player this upcoming winter which meant he would have filed for arbitration four times instead of three before becoming a free agent.
Lagares, 26, slashed .281/.324/.382 in 452 plate appearances in 2014 but its his glove that made him one of the Mets better players. Lagares became the third Met outfielder behind Tommy Agee and Carlos Beltran to win a Gold Glove.
On the surface this looks like a questionable decison for the Mets as Lagares’ speciality, which is his defense, doesn’t pay much in arbitration. Lagares has walked just 20 times in each of his two big league seasons. He doesn’t hit many homers or steal many bases so he wasn’t likely to get more than the $20-25 million in arbitration should his offense stay at its current level.
The Mets don’t believe it will. The front office has been very impressed with the work Lagares has done in camp with new hitting coach Kevin Long and believe he will hit better this upcoming year.
The Brewers gave a simialr contract to former Met Carlos Gomez a few years ago before his breakout season. That deal looks like one of the best decisions Brewers GM Doug Melvin has ever made.
Lagares just turned 26 a few weeks ago so there is still time in his bat for improvements. The deal only gives the Mets the possibility of one more year of control over their gold glover with the club option for 2020 worth $9.5 million.
Do you like this aggressive move by the New York Mets?