The Mets added some depth to their outfield picture today by signing Desmond Jennings to a minor league contract and assigning him to Triple-A Las Vegas. The 51s did not have a true center fielder on their roster, which also includes outfielders Jace Boyd, Travis Taijeron, and Victor Cruzado.
Jennings came up with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2010 before becoming the every day left fielder in 2012. He then moved over to center for the next two seasons. Since 2015, leg injuries have severely limited Jennings’s playing time, as he played only 28 games in 2015 and 65 in 2016 before being released by the Rays late in August.
Jennings had signed with the Cincinnati Reds in February, but he was released 5 days ago. While the Mets have no shortage of outfielders, true center fielders are somewhat of a rarity in the upper levels of their system and, with both Juan Lagares and Brandon Nimmo currently on the disabled list, there’s a decent chance that Jennings could see some big league at-bats this season.
When healthy, Jennings played an above-average center field and hit enough to keep his glove in the lineup. His best offensive year was 2013, when he hit 14 home runs and put up a .748 OPS and a 109 OPS+ over 139 games with Tampa Bay.