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Why AJ Pollock is not the Mets answer in center

Since the end of the Angel Pagan era in New York, the Mets have had sort of a black hole in center field with nobody being able to succeed in that position to the standard that most feel they should. Last year we saw Juan Lagares finally hitting his stride and as a fan I thought finally we have a center fielder who can hit and field, but then he got injured.

Lagares would miss the remainder of the 2018 season with a toe injury, continuing the question of if the Mets were “cursed” to never have a capable center fielder. I mean, don’t me wrong, both Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo held there own at the position, but the former is more comfortable in the corner outfield position and Nimmo was only there cause of the circumstance.

Looking at this year’s free agent class, there are a number of a capable outfielders who could handle the center field position for the Mets in 2019 and I mentioned who I thought the Mets should pursue in the past in Billy Hamilton.

Recently, there have been rumors popping up that the Mets have been in contact with AJ Pollock. Three years ago I would’ve been jumping for joy at this report, but things have changed. Since 2016, we have seen AJ struggle to stay healthy, only playing in around 237 games in the last three seasons which is alarming in my opinion. Fans want to be worried about Cano? Well I think we should worry about how interested the Mets are in AJ Pollock, because we don’t need another outfielder who can’t stay on the field (Sorry Cespedes).

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, Pollock has a lot of interest from teams but is looking for a similar contract to the one Lorenzo Cain received last season from the Milwaukee Brewers.

In comparison, just based on games played, Cain has more games played since 2017 (296 games) then Pollock has since 2016, which gave Cain more of a window to show his worth for the contract he earned last off-season.

Based on all the new coverage the Mets have been receiving recently, mostly centered around potential trade targets, I think they need to spend a little more time looking for the right free agent. I don’t think Pollock is the right guy if he really does want a five-year, 80 million dollar commitment. I’d be more interested in a deal for him to show he can stay healthy and prove he can still be the star player he had the potential to be back in his early days.

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  1. Avatar

    Rob Walsh

    December 6, 2018 at 9:55 am

    Pollock while playing is head and shoulders better than Hamilton and Lagares. You do not get reward without risk, and it should be noted some of his injuries were anomalies and not necessarily conditioning or breaking down based which could be a silver lining. I think he makes a lot of sense and while health adds significant pop and defense at a premium position. I’d go 4/45 with two 15M option years (3M buyout). This gets him just about to the same contract (5/75) as Cain but with A. the added security on the Mets side that it’s working out, and B. a painful enough buyout option that ensures the Mets would think twice about exercising it. This is a very fair deal and I’d be surprised if he gets anything better given the ample risk. Hamilton is losing a step (down 17 or so stolen bases ’17 to ’18) is all legs and no bat. These players don’t age well and he should only be a bench addition on a good team right now, not an everyday player. Lagares is much better than he is, at least he hits .260 versus .215.

    • Avatar

      Michael Clinco

      December 7, 2018 at 3:16 am

      I see that logic as a viable step, but I just think that the Mets could spend the money elsewhere and maybe look for more of a platoon player in Center field instead spending excessively for the position.

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