The Mets outfield situation could get messy.

It’s safe to say that the Mets are Dodgers East, but not for the reasons you might think. The Dodgers spend more money on their roster than the Mets, or anyone else actually, but their outfield situations are quite similar.

The Dodgers started their 2016 season with an outfield of Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. In the clinching game of the NLCS which they lost to the Cubs, they started Andrew Toles, Pederson and Josh Reddick. Throughout the season, they played Howie Kendrick, Kiké Hernandez, Trayce Thompson, Will Venable, and about anyone who showed up to Chavez Ravine with a glove.  The problem with having this sort of logjam is the amount of at bats, or lack thereof, each player receives. Inconsistent ABs usually lead to a dip in batting average. Dodger left fielders ranked 22nd in the league with a .240 average. Their center fielders ranked 25th with a .242 clip. Right fielders were a little more respectable, hitting .256 to place 15th in the majors.

This remains one of the biggest mysteries in baseball. How do you keep players productive without consistent playing time? Terry Collins will be the latest manager to try and figure it out.

Even with Yoenis Cespedes opting out of his contract, The Mets are in a similar situation as the Dodgers were last year. Having picked up Jay Bruce’s team option, the Mets are now slated to begin the season with Bruce, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares, and Brandon Nimmo on the roster. They are said to be looking to resign Cespedes, and are also interested in Dexter Fowler and Jose Bautista. If they are able to land one of their free agent targets, who should all be seeing everyday ABs, the Mets will create a situation of 5 players for 2 positions. This is where it gets messy. The players who will be fighting for regular time in center and right field have proven to be most effective when given everyday at-bats.

Having depth is never a bad thing, but it’s almost impossible to carry 6 outfielders without limiting yourself in other areas. So how exactly can the Mets approach this?

Trade lefties. 

The Mets can trade one of Bruce or Granderson. Although they provide some pop, they are almost the same player. Lefties that can hit the long ball, strike out a bunch, and with limited defense. They are also very streaky hitters, having both of them slumping at the same time could be deadly for a Mets team trying to contend for a playoff spot. It is extremely unlikely the Mets trade Lagares as he is the lone right-handed hitting outfielder on the roster. The former gold glover could be used as a late inning defensive replacement.


Send the youngsters down to Vegas.

The Mets can send both Conforto and Nimmo down to AAA. Conforto is a good hitter, but he was rushed to the majors and could use some extra reps in Vegas. He clearly struggled when given limited ABs. If the Mets do not plan of playing him with regularity, he shouldn’t be wasting on the bench. Nimmo was successful in a brief stint last year, he slashed .274 in 73 ABs. He has proven he can hit, missing out on the Pacific Coast League batting title by a single point to teammate TJ Rivera. He also represents, along with Lagares, a true center field option on the roster. As Conforto, and given his age, it would be wise to send Nimmo down to the 51s if he can’t be given regular playing time in Flushing.



If thing go the Mets’ way, they should have Cespedes, Granderson, and Conforto patrolling the outfield grass. There have been reports of Jay Bruce trade interest by the Blue Jays , which could help alleviate the logjam the Mets currently have. Lagares can then become the 4th outfielder, and should be joined in the bench by a right handed platoon player. In my opinion, this would create the optimal combination for the Mets. Nimmo can benefit from an extra year in Vegas, and can take over the center field job once Granderson’s contract runs out at the end of the season.

Things change over the course of an off-season, and injuries do occur, so it might not be the worst thing to hang on to their current options. The Mets might not be faced with the same dilemma come opening day, but for now they have more questions than answers.



Yoenis Cespedes: 162.

On Wednesday night, outfielder Yoenis Cespedes played his 162nd game for the New York Mets.

Cespedes was acquired from the Detroit Tigers in last year’s trading deadline in exchange for minor league right-handers Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa.

This trade only materialized after the Padres, Reds, and Rockies decided they were not going to trade away Justin Upton, Jay Bruce, and Carlos Gonzalez, respectively.


After tears were shed on the field by a certain shortstop who must remain unnamed.

Cespedes was received by Mets fans as the savior to a team that desperately needed a boost, and boy, did he live up to the part. After joining the Amazin’s, Yo went on to slash .287/.337/.604 with 17 homeruns, 44 driven in, and 39 runs. His memorable run had fans of the game talking about a possible Most Valuable Player award, though his lack of at-bats in the league would most definitely disqualify him from serious contention.

Not surprisingly, the MVP award did not come, but there is no question as to who was the MVP for the boys in blue.

The acquisition of La Potencia, which is Spanish for The Power, proved to be one of the biggest moves in Mets history. Not only did he help the Mets catch the Nationals in the standings a few days after he was acquired, he essentially buried the Nats’ playoffs hopes.

The Mets went into Washington with a four game lead, a seven game turnaround from the pre-Cespedes era. On Sept. 9th, after winning the first two games of the series, Cespedes came up in the top of the 8th in a tied game. Drew Storen, who had just entered the game, hanged a slider. then Yo did this:

The Mets won the game, and left the nation’s capital with a commanding seven game lead. They never looked back, making it all the way to the World Series.

Though the Mets couldn’t finish the job in 2015, their Yo-powered run to the Fall Classic sent the city into a craze. Everyone was pulling for the blue and orange.

The Mets shocked everyone with their impressive World Series run. Then they shocked everyone by resigning Cespedes to a 3 year, $75 million. The front-loaded deal, which had an opt-out after the first season, guaranteed Cespedes $30.5 million if he decided to exercise that clause. Essentially, barring a horrible season, Cespedes was going to be playing  on a one year deal.

In his second season, Yo has continued to rake to a .298/.369./.572 line. He’s hit 27 home runs, driven in 68, and scored 57 runs. Though the lineup has struggled with injuries and he has been pitched around, Yo has still been able to produce solid numbers.

In his 162 games since joining the Mets, Cespedes has hit at a clip of .294/.358/.584 with 34 doubles, five triples, 44 home runs, 112 RBI, and 96 runs scored.

Those numbers could have given Bryce Harper a run for his money, especially since the Mets won the division. For you sabermetric-heads, his WAR has been 5.2 which, per FanGraphs, puts him at superstar level.

Last month, Yo announced he’s not going to opt out, much to the delight of Mets fans, although we’ll see about that. It is clear he loves playing in the New York limelight, and it is also clear that Mets fans love him.

Maybe Cespedes will not post the same numbers over the next 162 games, but what he has done over his first 162 games will stay with Mets fans for a very long time.

Here’s to many more bat flips in blue and orange.