While the Mets are working to sign free agent catcher James McCann, the club is also ‘engaged’ with free agent center fielder George Springer, according to SNY’s Andy Martino.
This is hardly the first time the two sides have been linked since the winter meetings began. Earlier in the winter meetings, Buster Olney colorfully stated he would bet his family farm in Vermont that Springer would be a Met during an appearance on ESPN radio. Later on, Jeff Passan added to the chorus, saying that the Mets are the favorites to land the coveted center fielder. The Mets are in desperate need of both a catcher and a center fielder, and they seem to be working hard to land two of the top options at those respective positions.
Springer signing with the Mets would be a homecoming of sorts, as he grew up in New Britain, Connecticut and played baseball at UConn before being drafted by the Astros with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Springer is one of the big offensive prizes on the market right now. In seven years with Houston, he has slashed .270/.361/.491 with 174 home runs, a 134 wRC+, and a career 26.6 fWAR.
The 31-year-old made three consecutive American League All Star teams from 2017-2019 and was awarded a Silver Slugger in both 2017 and 2019. His best year came in 2019, when he finished seventh in MVP voting and posted a career-best 156 wRC+, .974 OPS, 39 home runs, and 6.5 fWAR In 51 games last year, he hit .265/.359/.540 with home runs and a 146 wRC+.
He would also bring a stable defensive presence to a position that has been lacking in that aspect for a few years now. If the rumors are correct and if the team can close the deal with Springer, he would slot in to center field, with Brandon Nimmo sliding over to left field.