The New York Mets are arriving at camp with two new teammates in the outfield. Curtis Granderson and Chris Young are two of the Mets’ biggest signings and they could be a part of revamping not only this team’s outfield, but also its lineup.
Both guys come in as favorites to take over two of the three starting spots, which asks the question, where do all the other guys fit in?
Granderson has been a center fielder his whole career, but last year he started to spend more time in left and right field to adapt to injuries, which made it more difficult for him to play the demanding position of center field. For the Mets, he would seem to fit best in right field, as there is no true incumbent there.
According to ESPN New York, Young has been quoted as saying, “I let the team know center field was where I’m most comfortable.” That would seem to be his best fit. Juan Lagares played well in center in his rookie year, but with the Mets spending $7.25 million on him this year, he would seem to be a higher priority than Lagares.
That leaves Lagares, Eric Young Jr. and Lucas Duda.
Lagares’ lack of offensive production should leave him back in Triple-A where he can play every day.
Young Jr. should start in left, where he played a majority of the year last year. He is the best option the Mets have to hit leadoff, and that makes the last outfield spot Young, Jr.’s to lose.
Duda is an interesting case, as he could be involved with the outfield, but he is much more associated with the much maligned first base situation. Most likely, he ends up at first base or on another team.
That leaves Andrew Brown and Kirk Nieuwenhuis as the best options for the fourth and fifth outfielder spots off the bench.
Terry Collins has a lot of decisions to make moving forward with this outfield. He has plenty of options, but somebody is going to have to step up and produce.