Sports

#RawCash: Behold Mets make outfield splash, ink Starling Marte to $78 million deal

An industry source established, giving the Mets a third new player Friday. MLB Network first officially announced the deal, which is awaiting a physical.

The 33-year-old Marte was considered as the best pure center fielder on the free-agent market. A one time Gold Glove winner, he split last season between Miami and Oakland, concluding with a .310/.383/.458 slash line with 12 homers and 55 RBIs, leading the major leagues with 47 stolen bases.

The accord came on the same day the Mets added outfielder Mark Canha on a two-year deal worth $26.5 million with a club option for 2024. The team as well accepted to terms with veteran infielder Eduardo Escobar on a two-year contract worth $20 million that holds a club option for 2024.

Starling Marte finished with an .841 OPS last season. USA TODAY Sports

Marte’s coming will shift Brandon Nimmo to a corner-outfield position. It as well seem not likely the Mets will pursue Michael Conforto, who turn down the club’s qualifying offer worth $18.4 million for next season to seek a longer-term deal.
Marte, as stated by Baseball Savant, ranked in the 82nd percentile among MLB center fielders last season, recording three outs above average. The Yankees, Phillies, Marlins and Rangers were included in the other teams linked to Marte, who began his major league career with the Pirates in 2012, playing eight seasons for the team.

Canha, 32, spent the last seven years with the Athletics, for whom he played all three outfield positions and first base. The additions (also including Escobar) were the first of note by Billy Eppler, just over a week into his tenure as the team’s new general manager.

Last season Canha posted a .231/.358/.387 slash line with 17 homers and 61 RBIs in 141 games. He joins an outfield mix that in addition to Nimmo and Marte inclusive of Dominic Smith, Khalil Lee and Nick Plummer (a former Cardinals prospect who signed a one-year major league deal with the Mets earlier in the week). Two pieces of the Mets’ outfield mix from last season, Conforto and Kevin Pillar, became free
Canha’s addition completely remove the chance of a Pillar coming together again . If Conforto signs elsewhere, the Mets would receive a compensatory draft pick.

Smith and Jeff McNeil both saw action in left field for the Mets last season, still one or both could be traded this winter following discouraging 2021 seasons. Nevertheless, the strong likelihood of a universal DH in the next collective bargaining agreement will leave room for an additional bat. The Mets as well have to resolve if J.D. Davis still fits with the club after his injury-shortened season.

Defensively, Canha is solid. Last season he was plus-two in outs above average as an outfielder, as stated by baseball savant.

With the a cooperative enterprise bargaining agreement close to expiration and a Dec. 2 lockout expected, the Mets figure to spend the next several days concentrated on Javier Baez and the starting rotation. Baez has pointed out he wants to sign before the lockout — the Mets are among a number of teams in play for the veteran infielder. On the rotation front, Kevin Gausman could be a top target on the free-agent market. A coming together again with Marcus Stroman may not be as probable. Stroman tweeted Friday:

“I would love to be back on the squad next year. I’ve proven that I can pitch in NY…others usually crumble under that New York pressure. However, I know a source who says the front office rather the other pitchers on the market. I’m going to dominate wherever I end up!”

In a separate tweet Stroman added:

“The source is me.”

BILLY EPPLER MLB HOT STOVE    NEW YORK METS     11/27/21

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