The Mets need an outfielder and Wednesday they signed one to add some depth to their organization — even if not to their major league roster.
With Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto ending their 2017 season in the disabled list, the Mets need another reliable bat in case Conforto, who had shoulder surgery, is not ready for the start of the season, as the Mets fear.
They are looking at major league players who can play a corner outfield position and first base, but Wednesday, the Mets signed Zach Borenstein to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league Spring Training camp in an attempt to shore up their ranks of outfielders in the organization.
A career-minor leaguer, Borenstein hit .279 with 27 doubles, seven triples, 24 home runs, 91 RBI and a .351 on-base percentage in 127 games Reno, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. He batted .200 with three doubles and two RBI in six games for Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
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Borenstein has hit .283 with 145 doubles, 99 home runs, 453 RBI and has a .355 OBP over the course of seven minor league seasons.
A one-time minor league Player of the Year in the Angels’ organization, where he was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft, Borenstein has never appeared in a major league game.
While this signing may not get Mets fans saying thanks to the Mets front office on Thursday, before dinner there is some outfielder news for them to be grateful for. According to sources close to Cespedes, the 32-year-old slugger has fully healed from his hamstring injuries and is beginning a normal offseason workout.
The Mets slugger missed 81 games in 2017 with injuries to both his hamstrings. In the first year of a four-year $110 contract, Cespedes’ health is going to be a huge factor in the Mets’ success in 2018.
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He said that he will change his workouts this winter to get more flexibility in his legs, rather than the strengthening exercises he did last winter trying to bulk up his thighs. He said he will do these different exercises with Mike Barwis, the Mets’ strength and conditioning advisor, who came under criticism this year with the team’s mounting injuries.
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