NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have found another version of Juan Lagares to play center field in 2020.
Weeks after declining Lagares’ option, New York traded for a similar player, acquiring defense-first Jake Marisnick from the Houston Astros on Thursday for a pair of minor leaguers.
Marisnick will likely platoon with veteran Brandon Nimmo.
“Jake is an elite defender who is an incredibly smart base runner,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “Among our offseason plans was to improve defensively and he is one of the best in the game.”
Just spoke to Jake Marisnick, who woke up this morning to the news he had been traded.
"The vibe around the Mets when we were watching them last year from Houston, they looked like they were playing with some hunger and some passion. I'm excited to come in and add to that."
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) December 5, 2019
There’s no question the 28-year-old can go and get it in center, but he’s not exactly a force at the plate. Marisnick batted .233 with 10 home runs and 34 RBIs in 120 games last season. Entering his eighth MLB season, the last five-plus with the Astros after breaking into the league with the Miami Marlins in 2013, Marisnick has a career .227/.280/.380 slash line and .660 OPS, with 54 homers, 178 RBIs and 73 stolen bases.
The move came a day after the Mets released a statement saying minority owner Steve Cohen is negotiating to purchase a bigger stake in the team, and that current owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon will remain in their current roles as controlling owner and chief operating office, respectively, for the next five years. Reports indicated Cohen he is looking to acquire 80 percent of the team.
Marisnick is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility and can be a free agent after the 2020 season. He is projected to earn around $3 million next season.
In the deal, New York sent Houston unheralded prospects Blake Taylor, a 24-year-old lefty pitcher, and Kenedy Corona, a 19-year-old outfielder.
The Mets are also expected to target pitching and catching depth in the coming days and weeks. On Wednesday, right-hander Zack Wheeler, who went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA in 31 starts for the Mets in 2019, signed a five-year, $118 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Reports indicated the Mets and free agent right-hander Rick Porcello have mutual interest. Porcello, 30, who is from Morristown, N.J., went 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in 159 starts for the Boston Red Sox over the previous five seasons, and is 149-118 with a 4.36 ERA during his 11-year career.