New York Mets Shore Up Outfield Depth by Acquiring Jake Marisnick from Houston Astros
The New York Mets filled a gaping hole in their team by acquiring outfielder Jake Marisnick on Thursday from the Houston Astros.
In return, the Astros received relief pitcher Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona from the Mets.
In Marisnick's seven-year career, he is much better known for being a defensive player than an offensive one. Marisnick, 28, hit .233 with 10 home runs and 34 R.B.I.'s in 120 games of action for the Astros in 2019.
"Jake is an elite defender who is an incredibly smart baserunner," Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. "Among our off season plans was to improve defensively and he is one of the best in the game."
Marisnick is a career .227 hitter with the Miami Marlins and the Astros.
The Mets certainly struggled defensively in 2019, and Marisnick will help to fix the club's defensive woes heading into 2020.
The Mets had the 19th-ranked defense in 2019.
The acquisition of Marisnick means that Van Wagenen may be content with the team's outfield depth heading into 2020. As the team is currently constituted, Brandon Nimmo will be the team's starting center fielder, Michael Conforto will be their starting right fielder, and Marisnick will find himself in a battle to be the starting left fielder with former Astro J.D. Davis on Opening Day 2020.
The status of former All-Star left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is in doubt heading into 2020, and that is why the left field spot will be up for grabs next season.
Marisnick has only played 51 career games in left field, so that position would not be a natural fit for the veteran. With the Mets outfield situation though, they may not be left with much of a choice.
The Mets do not have much money to spend this off season, so Van Wagenen will have to be selective with the type of player he brings to Flushing.
Marisnick has shown all throughout his career in the majors that he struggles at the plate. This is a repeat of what the Mets had for the past seven years with Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares. He was one of the best fielders at his position, but could never be counted on to be a consistent performer at the plate.
Van Wagenen paid a pretty hefty price for a player that has been nothing but a reserve in his career. While the Mets did add depth to their outfield by acquiring Marisnick, a long term option is still needed at left field.
In order to make this happen, Van Wagenen will have to trade some of the team's assets in order to clear space for a marquee left fielder.
Davis, Cespedes and Marisnick should not be counted on to be cornerstone pieces of the New York Mets in 2020.