The New York Mets have plugged one of their big holes in free agency by signing Justin Verlander after the departure of Jacob deGrom. Now, they need some help in the outfield. Aaron Judge is on the market, but the Mets are taking a different direction and looking at his fellow New York Yankees outfielder, Andrew Benintendi.
“The Mets are among the teams talking with free agent Andrew Benintendi, The Post has learned,” writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. “For the Mets, discussions with Benintendi, 28, are an indicator of the club seriously contemplating life without free agent Brandon Nimmo.”
Benintendi posted a .772 OPS last season while hitting for well over average, but he did most of his good hitting with the Kansas City Royals. Once the Yankees traded for him, his numbers declined. He also suffered a hand injury that limited his availability. If his numbers bounce back, he could be one of the better contact hitters in baseball. Although New York needs more power hitting, Benintendi would be a fine option, too.
With Brandon Nimmo being a free agent and drawing attention from a lot of different teams, the Mets need to find options in the event that he leaves. They would be fools not to make a run at Judge, but they reportedly don’t want to get into a bidding war with their crosstown rival. Wherever they find it, the Mets have to add a high-quality outfielder to maintain their status as one of the best teams in MLB.