The New York Mets have added some more outfield help, as Andy Martino of SNY has reported that they have signed Harrison Bader to a one-year, $10 million deal.
Bader is coming off an injury-plagued 2023 season, which saw him open the year with the New York Yankees, before finishing with the Cincinnati Reds. Between 98 games with the two clubs, Bader hit .232/.274/.348, with seven home runs and 20 stolen bases.
The 29-year-old is a New York native, who went to high school in the Bronx. Now he changes boroughs and is heading to Queens, where he will compete with Tyrone Taylor and DJ Stewart for a starting job in a Mets outfield that includes Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte.
The Mets acquired Taylor in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers which also saw them land pitcher Adrian Houser. Taylor offers a similar skill-set to Bader, being that he is a good outfielder who can play at all three positions. Meanwhile Stewart is a holdover from last season, where he showed flashes down the stretch, but is more of a bat-first player.
Bader won a Gold Glove back in 2021 and will instantly become the best outfielder on the Mets roster. The question is if he can rediscover his swing at the plate, coming off a few down years offensively.
For the Mets, this is an add that brings another defensive-minded player into the fold, something that has clearly been a goal for their new front office this offseason. The three position players they have added, with Bader, Taylor and also Joey Wendle have all been glove-first.
With pitching costing a premium this offseason, the Mets may be taking a different approach to run prevention with their offseason moves up to this point.
Considering the health concerns surround Marte, and the inconsistent track record of Stewart and Taylor, this provides some real insurance across the board for the Mets. It also reunites two college teammates, with Bader once sharing a lineup with Pete Alonso at the University of Florida.