Following the 2019 season, the Mets cut ties with Juan Lagares, choosing to pay him a $500,000 buyout rather than pick up the $9.5 million option on his contract. While it was the right move to make, the club still needed to fill his role on the roster – a defensive specialist to play CF. Ideally, this is someone you’d promote from within and pay minimum wage. Unfortunately, the Mets had no one in the upper minors ready to fill this spot.
So, they had to go outside the organization. Brodie Van Wagenen acted decisively and traded two prospects to the Astros for Jake Marisnick. Instead of $9.5 million that they would have paid Lagares, they were down to $3.3 million with Marisnick.
But, would they have done better if they waited out the market?
There were at least three other guys besides Marisnick who would have fit the bill of a defensive CFer. Here’s what they signed for:
Kevin Pillar – Signed with the Red Sox, rumored to be a one-year deal worth around $4 million
Billy Hamilton – Signed an NRI with the Giants
Lagares – Signed with the Royals for one year with the chance to earn up to $2.5 million if he hits all of his incentives.
So, two of the three ended up with fewer dollars than Marisnick. Did Van Wagenen blow this particular move? Or was the bird in the hand with Marisnick acquired in early December worth the extra dollars.
Or was Marisnick brought in with the idea to help Carlos Beltran with instituting some practices from their days together in Houston?