It was understandable why the Mets traded for Keon Broxton in January of 2019. Juan Lagares has not been healthy as of late, and was not showing much in the way of offense. Broxton was part of an outfield-rich Brewers team, was young and cheap, and flashed an elite glove with some occasional power. The trade made sense for both teams, with the Brewers getting some pitching prospects, the Mets getting their fourth outfielder.
That plan never really materialized. Broxton showed very little of his 20 home run season from 2017, only collecting one extra base hit during his Mets’ tenure, while striking out 22 times. His fielding, though perfectly cromulent, didn’t really impress, with Broxton putting up zero Defensive Runs Saved in all three outfield positions.
Part of that is absolutely due to lack of playing time. Broxton collected just 53 plate appearances before being designated for assignment in May. A combination of his poor offensive performance (.143/.208/.163) and breakout seasons by other outfielders (specifically Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith) led to Broxton riding the pine for most of his Mets’ tenure. While each of those players had some upside going into 2019, all three had seasons that absolutely exceeded expectation, and left Broxton as the odd man out.
Broxton took note of this before getting DFA’d, and expressed his displeasure at his lack of playing time to the press. Shortly thereafter, he found himself gone, traded to the Orioles for 500,000 in international slot money. He would end the season with the Mariners, after which he elected free agency.
Given more time to prove his worth, Broxton might have had a perfectly fine season for a reserve outfielder. However, to give Davis, McNeil, or Smith less playing time in the hope that Broxton could re-find his stroke just didn’t make sense.