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Mets agree to sign Albert Almora Jr.

Almora is known for defense but has struggled mightily as a hitter.

Chicago Cubs v Seattle Mariners Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Mets have agreed to sign outfielder Albert Almora Jr., according to Ken Rosenthal. Almora is known for his defense and is coming off a short 2020 season in which he hit .167/.265/.200 with a 36 wRC+.

Almora made his major league debut in 2016 with the Cubs and spent five seasons with the team. For his career, he’s hit .271/.309/.398 with an 86 wRC+, but he hasn’t hit above league average by the metric since 2017. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, Almora has hit just .261/.299/.373. A right-handed hitter, Almora has a career 95 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers and just an 81 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers.

In 2019, Almora was worth -0.7 fWAR and -1.0 bWAR, and both variants of WAR had him a -0.1 in 2020. Still just 26 years old, perhaps there’s a rebound of some sort in his bat, but given the steep decline in production over the past few years, it’s hard to hold out too much hope for that. Ideally the Mets will play Almora mostly as a defensive replacement in center field.