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Mets trade for center fielder Jake Marisnick

Marisnick gives the Mets a right-handed hitting center fielder who’s a strong defender.

MLB: Game One-Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have acquired center fielder Jake Marisnick in a trade with the Houston Astros. The news was first reported by Ken Rosenthal. In return, the team is parting with minor league pitcher Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona. Neither player is considered a Top 30 prospect in the team’s system, according to MLB Pipeline. Taylor was recently added to the team’s 40-man roster.

Marisnick will effectively replace Juan Lagares as the team’s back-up center fielder and will likely play against left-handed pitchers in place of Brandon Nimmo. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is a defense-first outfielder who has not been much of a hitter. Over the course of his seven years in the majors, he’s hit .220/.280/.395 with a 78 wRC+ and a 6.1 fWAR in 650 games. He began his career with the Miami Marlins before heading to Houston on July 31, 2014 as part of a trade for Jarred Cosart and Enrique Hernandez.

Since joining the Astros, he has played at least 100 games in each of the last five years. Last season, he slashed .233/.289/.411 with an 86 wRC+ and a 1.1 fWAR in 120 games. In the field, he posted a 5 DRS in center field last year along with a 5.4 UZR/150. During the team’s run to the World Series, he picked up four singles and one walk in 14 plate appearances during the postseason. Marisnick is under control for one more season and is estimated to make $3 million in the 2020 season.

Following the announcement of the trade, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen referred to Marisnick as “an elite defender who is an incredibly smart baserunner”. Van Wagenen added, “Among our offseason plans was to improve defensively, and he is one of the best in the game.”

The Mets had been rumored to be looking for a right-handed center fielder and strong defender to complement their current crop of lefty outfielders. There was some thought that the team could partner up with the Pittsburgh Pirates on a trade for Starling Marte, or look to the recently non-tendered Kevin Pillar as potential solutions.