Fred Lewis: This Year's Sheffield But Better

In a recent online chat, CSNBayArea's Mychael Urban gave a shout-out to SB Nation blogs Athletics Nation and McCovey Chronicles, and also predicted that 29 year-old Giants outfielder Fred Lewis would be "cut loose near the end of camp". If this happens, the Mets should try to sign him, much like they did when Gary Sheffield became available just before Opening Day 2009.

Lewis is a lefty-hitting corner outfielder with a career wOBA of .343 in 1048 plate appearances. Projections peg him at something around a .330-.340 wOBA, or slightly above average. He's also a plus defender in the corner outfield spots, per all the defensive metrics. This is an overall league average performer who would be manning the Mets' fifth outfielder spot (and is probably better than the current third and fourth outfielders).

Lewis is out of options and wouldn't cost anything.  Based on this post at McCovey Chronicles, it seems he might be the Angel Pagan of the Giants, at least in the average fan's view:

The haters chime in here, saying things like  "Lewis drives me nuts when he plays the outfield! He takes weird routes! He makes stupid baserunning mistakes! He just isn’t a heady baseball player!" I can see your point. I disagree with the premise that it adds up to Lewis being a below-average player, but I can see how he’s a frustrating player to watch.

Sounds like the type of player Brian Sabean wants no part of, much to the chagrin of MCC but potentially to the delight of Amazin' Avenue. Production trumps (almost) everything, and Met fans should be happy to endure the occasional baserunning blunder in return for a 1-2 win player being paid peanuts.

If the season began today, emerging cult hero Chris "The Animal" Carter would be worthy of a spot on the big-league bench. However, if Lewis is jettisoned by the San Francisco brain trust and signed by the Mets, Carter would rightfully start the season at AAA. This situation should be monitored and let's hope for a subpar March performance from Lewis.

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