The Mets are monitoring the market of free agent center fielder A.J. Pollock, reports SNY's Andy Martino.
According to Martino, the Mets could be in play for Pollock if he becomes open to a "pillow contract" or an opt-out after the first year of a potential deal.
A pillow contract is basically a one-year deal to reestablish value. A multi-year deal that contains an opt-out after the first year of a deal would serve the same purpose for Pollock, who has reportedly sought a five-year deal worth roughly $80 million but whose problems staying healthy made that ask eye-popping when news of it first leaked
Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen said earlier this offseason that Pollock would be a good fit for the Mets. The team has since traded for Keon Broxton, but he profiles as a backup -- as does Juan Lagares.
The Braves have been linked to Pollock, but Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic suggested earlier Tuesday that the sanctions that hit the Braves' minor league system hard and continue to reverberate could have an impact on whether they sign Pollock -- who will cost an acquiring team their second-highest pick in this June's MLB Draft.
Pollock, who is a career .281/.338/.467 hitter, hit .257/.316/.484 with 21 homers, 21 doubles, and five triples in 113 games last season while being worth 6 DRS.
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The Mets have had a strong offseason, but signing Pollock could put an exclamation point of sorts on it. He should be signed regardless of whether or not Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado wind up signing in the NL East.
But if Harper and/or Machado wind up in the division, the Mets snagging Pollock would be a necessary move to help them properly compete with their rivals.
Pollock, who is a plus center fielder on both sides of the ball, would fill the Mets' last glaring need. Signing Pollock would also reverberate throughout the roster, allowing the Mets to play Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto in the corners (which is the team's preference), while relegating Lagares and Broxton to the bench (where they belong).
Yes, Pollock has had problems staying healthy, playing in just 113 games in 2018 after playing in 112 games in 2017. But some of his injuries have been of the freak variety. And if he could be had on a deal no longer than three years, his age (31) isn't much of a factor.