Mets sign outfielder: Mets Sign Alejandro De Aza

Published: December 23, 2015

Mets sign outfielder: Mets Sign Alejandro De Aza, The Mets have added the finishing touch to their outfield and it’s not the icing on the cake most fans wanted.

Instead of re-signing slugger Yoenis Cespedes or landing another big bat and putting him in center field, the Mets reached an agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $7 million with incentives with outfielder Alejandro De Aza Tuesday, pending the 31-year old’s physical.

There was only a slim chance the Mets would re-sign Cespedes, but this seems to slam the door on that possibility now, one team source said.

While the Mets have repeatedly said they have the money to expand on their $109 million payroll from 2015, they have remained cautious with their contracts so far this offseason. They have about $62 million committed before heading into arbitration with nine players, including Matt Harvey, Neil Walker and Jeurys Familia this winter.

De Aza, who will be 32 in April, is a career .267 hitter with 45 home runs and a lifetime .747 OPS over eight seasons in the majors. Last year with the Giants, Orioles and Red Sox, De Aza hit .262 with seven home runs.

While that does not compare to the heavy-hitting Cespedes, who carried the Mets offense through August and September, the fact De Aza hit for a higher average – and hit all seven of his home runs – off of right-handed pitching last season – and the fact he was significantly cheaper – made him the right fit for the Mets for 2016.

Discussing the roster composition last week, GM Sandy Alderson said that having former Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares was a factor in their plans, as was the class of outfielder free agents available to them.

“The fact we have a guy like Lagares, who next to (Daniel) Murphy was one of our best hitters in the postseason, is a consideration,” Alderson said. “He didn’t play that much, but he was pretty good in the role he played.

“And by the way, start looking at the players who are available, the number that you could end up writing in the lineup 150 times without reservation is very limited.”

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