Besides the addition of a left-handed relief pitcher, the New York Mets are still a healthy right-handed hitting center fielder away from competing for a division crown. Their current power hitting right-handed outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, will not be ready until at least the middle of the season, and Juan Lagares is as injury prone a player there will ever be. For this reason, the Mets outfield appears to be made up of completely corner outfielders. With this in mind, the Mets should have their eyes set on Adam Jones to plug the hole that has been vacant in the outfield for some time now.
Jones had a down year in Baltimore last season, there is no doubt in that. Although he batted a nice looking .281, his power numbers were down in a ball park that is known to foster power numbers. He hit 15 home runs last season, his lowest since joining the Orioles in 2008. His 63 RBIs were also the lowest total for him since that first 2008 season. His defensive numbers were also down, as his range factor slid down to 2.26 last season. Now that all of the bad information on Jones is out of the way, it is time to look at some of the benefits that would come with signing the veteran.
As of right now, the Mets are extremely left-handed in their batting order. The relief could come in the form of Cespedes, but no one is quite sure when that will be or if it will even happen in the 2018 season. There is no inclination that he would be the same hitter once he got back into the lineup as well. Jones would be able to provide consistency to this right-handed outfield spot, while also being able to be relied on in terms of health. Over the past three seasons, Lagares has played in 203 games. Over the same span, Jones has played in more than double, at 444 games.
In addition to his reputation for being a healthy player, Jones also has the reputation of being a fantastic teammate. Last season, in one that was historically rough for the Orioles, Jones was a constant for the team. While he was being shuffled around, a player of his stature could have easily complained and made things harder for his teammates. Instead, Jones was a leader in the clubhouse, and mentored a lot of the younger players.
The Mets have not had a true center fielder in quite some time. The Mets were among the worst in center field defense last season, and having a consistent option with gold glove history would be a solid pick up for the Mets. In addition, Jones will likely cost less than A.J. Pollock. This means that even after Jones, the Mets will still have some money to spend on a lefty reliever. Signing Jones would help the team address the need of having a right-handed true center fielder that can stay healthy, while leaving room for the lefty that they need in the pen.