Juan Lagares has drawn interest via trade, Mike Puma of the Post reports. Lagares signed a four-year, $23 million extension in April 2015, including a $9.5 million option for 2020.
As Puma notes, a Lagares trade would presumably free up $4.5 million in payroll, which the Mets could apply to bullpen help. While Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson have been discussed in trade rumors over the offseason, this is the first we’re hearing of Lagares’s availability.
Lagares’s 2015 extension was a vote of confidence from Sandy Alderson. The team regarded him as a “future star,” whose work toward becoming a complete player was well underway. Injuries have dulled his momentum, however, as Lagares posted a .239/.301/.380 line in an abbreviated 2016 campaign.
Two years after his signing, Lagares looks to be more of a fourth outfielder than a cornerstone player, which could make the $20 million he’s owed over the next three seasons seem expensive.