Juan Lagares was the longest-tenured player on the Mets, and now he's jumping ship to San Diego.
According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, the 30-year-old is joining the Padres.
Lagares joined the Mets originally in 2006 and debuted with the team in 2013, signing as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic. Known for the strong defensive aspects of his game, Lagares signed a five-year extension with the Mets in 2015.
With Zack Wheeler signing with the Phillies this offseason, who was the next longest-tenured Met, Jacob deGrom, who debuted in May 2014, is now the longest-tenured Mets player.
The Mets declined their 2020 option on Lagares in November, so his Mets career was already likely over. He was due to make $9.5 million on that option, but instead, the Mets paid him a $500,000 buyout. Lagares' new deal with the Padres is reportedly a one-year, $1.4 million deal if he's on the big club to start the season, with another million in incentives.
Lagares won a Gold Glove in the Mets' outfield in 2014, but struggled with injuries in his career. At the plate, Lagares had a .254 career batting average, .297 OBP and .361 slugging percent. In 2019, he had a .213/.279/.326 slash line in 133 games which was mostly a part-time role.
On the Padres' side of things, they were reportedly in the running for Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts, but missed out, as he eventually went to the Dodgers via trade. The Lagares news comes on the heels of the Dodgers making the Betts news official just a short while prior on Monday.