NEW YORK (AP)Outfielder Jake Marisnick was acquired by the New York Mets from the Houston Astros on Thursday for two prospects — left-hander Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona.
Marisnick is an excellent defender with speed but hasn’t hit well in the majors. He could play center field and allow the Mets to use Brandon Nimmo primarily in left.
Michael Conforto figures to get most of the starts in right. Former Gold Glover Juan Lagares played 125 games in center for New York last season and became a free agent.
The 28-year-old Marisnick hit .233 with 10 homers, 34 RBIs and 10 steals last season. In advanced metrics, he ranks seventh among outfielders with 64 defensive runs saved since 2004.
In parts of seven years with the Astros and Marlins, he’s hit .227 in 685 games. He hit 16 home runs in helping Houston reach the World Series in 2017.
Last year, Marisnick often was a backup in an Astros outfield that included George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick. Marisnick went 3 for 8 in the World Series loss to Washington.
”Jake is an elite defender who is an incredibly smart baserunner,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. ”Among our offseason plans was to improve defensively and he is one of the best in the game.”
Marisnick’s baserunning also drew the attention of the commissioner’s office last season.
He slid hard into home plate on July 7, giving Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy a concussion and broken nose, and Marisnick was suspended for two games. Angels pitcher Noe Ramirez hit Marisnick between the shoulder blades with a pitch on July 16, drawing a three-game ban.
Marisnick made $2.2 million and is likely to earn about $3 million next season. He can become a free agent after the 2020 World Series.
The 24-year-old Taylor was 2-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings this year for Class A St. Lucie, Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Syracuse. Corona, 19, hit .301 in 219 at-bats at the Dominican Summer League Mets, the Gulf Coast Mets and Class A Brooklyn.
NOTES: The Mets also signed OF Jarrett Parker and INF Max Moroff to minor league contracts with invitations to major league spring training, The 30-year-old Parker has played in parts of four seasons with the Angels and Giants, batting .249 with 51 RBIs in 140 games. He played five games for the Angels last year. The 26-year-old Moroff has been in 104 games in four seasons for Pittsburgh and Cleveland with 34 RBIs. He has played second base, third base and shortstop in the majors.
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