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Mets sign OF Starling Marte to a four-year, $78 million deal

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Capping off a busy day for the Mets is their biggest acquisition of the offseason so far.

St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Today was a very active day on the free agent market for the Mets and they capped off this flurry of activity by signing outfielder Starling Marte to a four-year, $78 million deal. After shoring up the outfield—a noted area of need this offseason due to the departure of Michael Conforto—by signing Mark Canha earlier in the evening, the Mets have now snagged the top center fielder in an otherwise thin free agency class at the position.

The 33-year-old Marte drew interest from several teams this offseason, including the Phillies, Astros, Rangers, Giants, Yankees, Marlins, but the Mets emerge from the pack having locked down the two-time Gold Glover, allowing Brandon Nimmo to shift to a corner outfield position and complement Marte at the top of the Mets’ batting order. Marte is coming off the best season of his ten-year MLB career, in which he posted a 134 wRC+, stole a career-high 47 bases, and was worth 5.5 fWAR between his time with the Marlins and the Athletics.

With a starting three of Mark Canha, Brandon Nimmo, and Starling Marte in place, the Mets have put together an on-base machine in the outfield. General manager Billy Eppler still has several balls in the air, including the Javier Báez sweepstakes, but it seems likely the focus of the front office will now shift to starting pitching, with the Mets having shown interest in Kevin Gasuman, among others.

Among the Black Friday deals and Thanksgiving leftovers, the Mets have cranked up the heat on the Hot Stove.