The Mets have officially declined center fielder Juan Lagares' $9.5 million club option for the 2020 season, making him a free agent.
Lagares has been with the Mets since 2013 after signing with the team as an amateur free agent out of Constanza, Domincan Republic. He signed a four-year extension worth $23 million on April 2, 2015 after winning a Gold Glove in 2014.
Injuries then derailed Lagares' career, as he played just 79 games in 2016 and only 30 games in 2018. Over his seven year career with the Mets, he started 477 of 668 games with a career batting average of .254.
His best season was in 2014, when he hit .281 with 24 doubles and 47 RBI in 416 at-bats.
In addition to Lagares, 2B Joe Panik and LHP Donnie Hart declined assignments to Triple-A Syracuse and will become free agents.
Panik signed with the Mets in August after being waived by the San Francisco Giants. He played in 39 games for the Mets in 2019, batting .277 with 12 RBI and two home runs.
While Hart pitched just one inning for the Mets in 2019, throwing nine pitches in a 1-2-3 inning. He was claimed off waivers on Aug. 3 from the Milwaukee Brewers.