He’s Keon Broxton, whom the Mets obtained by sending three minor-leaguers to the Brewers, most notably hard-throwing reliever Bobby Wahl, the return from last year’s Jeurys Famila deal. Reliever Adam Hill and infielder Felix Valerio also went to the Brewers.
Despite the enduring availability of A.J. Pollock — and, for the dreamers, Bryce Harper — the Mets tapped Broxton, a move that at least gives them some much-needed centerfield depth behind the oft-injured Lagares, who has averaged 68 games the past three seasons.
As it stands now, the Mets intend to go with an outfield alignment that features Lagares flanked by Michael Conforto in left and Brandon Nimmo in right.
Adding Broxton as a healthier alternative in centerfield could be a catalyst for a renewed effort to trade Lagares, who has been on the block before. The Mets likely would prefer to shed Lagares’ $9-million salary before making a serious bid for Pollock, whose market could be dropping from the initial estimates of a four-year deal in the neighborhood of $60 million.
In Broxton, 28, the Mets have another stellar glove, with limited production at the plate. The team’s announcement highlighted the fact that Broxton had 13 defensive runs saved since 2016, which ranks him 14th among all outfielders during that span (according to FanGraphs).
“Keon is a dynamic athlete with the ability to impact the game in the outfield, on the bases and with his bat,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “He adds depth to our major-league roster for 2019 and into the future.”
Broxton, a righthanded hitter, does have speed, with a total of 49 stolen bases (over 269 games) during the last three years. But he’s a .221 career hitter with a .734 OPS over fragments of four seasons.
Broxton hit 20 homers in 143 games in 2017, but his playing time was curtailed significantly last year by Milwaukee’s offseason acquisitions of Christian Yelich, who went on to be named National League MVP, and Lorenzo Cain. The Brewers needed to move Broxton because he’s out of minor-league options, and the Mets can’t demote him without having him clear waivers first.
Wahl, 26, appeared in seven games for the Mets last season, giving up a pair of homers and striking out seven in 5 1⁄3 innings. During his 58-game stretch in Triple-A, mostly in the A’s system, Wahl had a 2.66 ERA and 14.5 K/9.
Hill, 21, was the Mets’ fourth-round pick from last year’s draft and had a 2.35 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Cyclones. Valerio, 18, batted .319 with 17 doubles in 67 games in the Dominican Summer League last year, his first pro season.
Mets add Santiago. Looking for some versatility as well as depth for their pitching staff, the Mets agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with Hector Santiago, a 31-year-old lefthander who went 6-3 with a 4.50 ERA in 49 appearances (seven starts) for the White Sox last season. It’s expected to become official Monday. The Newark native has a 4.06 ERA in eight major-league seasons.
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