Is A.J. Pollock the reply to the Mets’ outfield want or simply one other harm ready to occur?
As common supervisor Brodie Van Wagenen kinds by way of the restricted variety of out there outfield choices who may enhance the membership, Pollock’s title stays close to the highest of their checklist. However Pollock additionally has a price ticket and harm historical past that’s leaving crew officers to surprise if the cash could possibly be higher spent elsewhere, with a wide range of eventualities doable.
The 31-year-old heart fielder had a slash line of .257/.316/.484 with 21 homers and 65 RBIs in 113 video games for the Diamondbacks final season.
He missed six weeks with a left thumb avulsion fracture, sustained whereas diving for a ball within the outfield. Pollock additionally missed important motion the earlier two seasons with accidents, however when wholesome is seen as a dependable right-handed bat who can hit in the course of the lineup.
“I’ve at all times preferred Pollock, however you may’t dismiss the very fact he’s been nicked up the final couple of years,” a Nationwide League scout mentioned Friday. “He’s clever and a participant who comes with numerous intangibles. The Diamondbacks have been at all times good when Pollock performed.”
The scout in contrast Pollock’s affect on Arizona’s lineup to Lorenzo Cain’s presence for the Royals after they gained the World Sequence in 2015. Pollock is in search of the identical type of contract because the one Cain acquired final winter from the Brewers, setting the bar at 5 years and $80 million. The Mets doubtless have the payroll flexibility to buy in that neighborhood, however with wants at catcher and reliever, even have reservations, in response to an business supply.
Among the many number of eventualities which were mentioned in a lean center-field marketplace for right-handed hitters is the thought of pursuing one other nook outfield bat and starting the season with a mixture of Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo in heart.
On the Winter Conferences in Las Vegas subsequent week, the Mets are anticipated to at the least ask about Yasiel Puig, who has been placed on the commerce market by the Dodgers. Puig is scheduled to earn $9.2 million subsequent season, a quantity that could possibly be extra palatable to the Mets than Pollock’s asking value. However the colourful Puig would additionally convey a possible clubhouse distraction to the Mets. Over time there have been rumblings of a prickly relationship between Puig and fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes. Even so, it’s unclear when and if Cespedes — who’s recovering from surgical procedure on each heels — will play subsequent season.
Lagares, who’s scheduled to earn $9 million subsequent season, has virtually lived on the disabled checklist since 2016. However there may be nonetheless a faction of expertise evaluators who view Lagares as well worth the gamble, particularly given the offensive enhancements he displayed within the first month final season earlier than he broke his large toe and had surgical procedure.
“Let’s discuss what the man can do,” the scout mentioned. “You’ll be able to’t depend too many guys you’d quite have in heart subject.”
Nimmo’s title has surfaced as a risk to guide a commerce bundle with the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto. If Nimmo have been dealt, the Mets would have a gaping gap within the outfield, but in addition wouldn’t should allocate mega-dollars to the catcher’s place, leaving it simpler to go full-throttle in pursuit of Pollock.