Andy Martino of SNY reports that the Mets have agreed to terms with outfielder Harrison Bader for a one-year contract that is worth $10.5 million annually. Last year, Bader, who is now 29 years old, played for both the Yankees and the Reds.
His offensive performance was not very good, as he hit just.232/.274/.348. However, he has demonstrated that he has the potential to be a plus at the plate. Bader had an OPS of.784 for the Cardinals in both 2020 and 2021
Despite this, he is more well-known for his exceptional speed and center field defense than for his hitting ability.
As of the year 2018, Bader has accumulated 66 Outs Above Average in the outfield, making him the top defender in baseball. He has surpassed other excellent defenders like as Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot, Michael A. Taylor, and Trent Grisham (the credit for this goes to Mike Petriello).
Since the year 2019, Bader has been playing center field solely; however, he also has expertise playing in both of the corner outfield positions.
As per Baseball Savant, he was considered to be among the top defensive center fielders in the game of baseball in the year 2023. It was estimated that Bader had a range that was in the 95th percentile, arm strength that was in the 91st percentile, and he was worth nine OAA. It was in the 85th percentile that Bader's sprint speed was in the year 2023.
It is reasonable to assume that Bader will take over as the regular center fielder now that he has joined the team. This would result in Brandon Nimmo moving to left field and Starling Marte remaining in right field, despite the fact that his health is uncertain.
Although Nimmo has developed into a capable center field fielder in his own right, Bader is just in a different league when it comes to defensive ability.
Based on the fact that Bader has joined the team and the outfield appears to be complete, the Mets are now able to focus on their other pressing requirements, which include acquiring a starting pitcher, late-inning relief assistance, and maybe a designated hitter.