The Mets found a platoon partner for Juan Lagares. New York has signed free agent outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a 1 year, $5.75 million deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Source: De Aza contract with #Mets is one year, $5.75M. Also includes $1.25M in incentives. Chance to earn total of $7M. Pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 22, 2015
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick noted Monday the Mets had interest in De Aza and Will Venable, but De Aza could prove to be more valuable as a platoon outfield option.
De Aza, 31, batted .262/.333/.422 to complement seven home runs and 35 RBIs over 114 clubs with three clubs in 2015. His WAR has decreased in each of the last four seasons, although he has had a notable amount of success against right-handed pitchers.
Over the course of his career, De Aza has batted .274/.338/.418 against right-handed pitchers. His defense, specifically in center field, has been questioned at times, but his consistent offensive production against right-handers might have been enough to lead the Mets to sign him.
Since the start of the off-season, the Mets have reportedly been seeking an outfielder. Initially, New York appeared interested in re-signing Yoenis Cespedes. However, Cespedes has requested an extensive deal, and the Mets might not be in a position to give him a lengthy contract.
While De Aza is not one of the top outfielders available, he could prove to be a valuable addition to the organization's outfield. The Mets have also been in pursuit of Denard Span, but the De Aza signing will likely lead the Mets to consider upgrading elsewhere before thinking about their outfield again.