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San Francisco Giants: Juan Lagares should be the Giants top trade target

By Daniel Sperry
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Juan Lagares #12 of the New York Mets is unable to catch a two run home run hit by Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning on May 8, 2017 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Juan Lagares #12 of the New York Mets is unable to catch a two run home run hit by Hunter Pence of the San Francisco Giants in the first inning on May 8, 2017 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The San Francisco Giants are in need of a center-fielder, pretty badly. They need a good defensive center fielder more than they need the bat.

While there have mainly been rumblings about the San Francisco Giants exploring the idea of Billy Hamilton, Keon Broxton, and Jackie Bradley Jr, a really good option just became available. Enter Juan Lagares.

With the New York Mets sitting on a stockpile of powerful arms that break down after 10 starts, and no real consistent offense, it’s likely looking like they will start selling off. The first name that has been known to be shopped is Juan Lagares, the Met’s current stud center fielder.

A Jon Heyman report has the Met’s actually fielding offers and taking calls on Juan Lagares. He’s a 28 year old, ball-hawk, centerfielder, that has three years of team control left at less than a $10 million dollars.

In reality, I should just end the article there because it’s 1000000000000000095859834787049857203498570239487509878976487613984652098750298347509817409587109384837619873649871269834769387619872639487698767% clear that this is something that the Bobby Evans should immediately pick up the phone for. If they want Tyler Beede? Sweet. Done deal (as long as we get cash for the 2019 salary).

Lagares is a legitimate center field addition defensively, when healthy. Obviously the bat doesn’t scream anything great as he has a career OPS under .600. Steven Duggar is the heir apparent to centerfield. Lagares, even if he becomes Duggar’s backup by game 64 this season, is still likely a better option to be the backup CF guy than Gorkys. Why? It’s simply the glove.

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Lagares has a career DRS of 77 and a UZR of 59.1 in 3,656 in center field. Even if his bat isn’t great, the Giants would/could/should be comfortable sticking Joe Panik at the leadoff spot. Not only this, but the contract situation is great.

Lagares’ contract runs through the 2020 season, but 2020 is a team option with a $500k buyout. That’s fantastic. His salary jumps from $6.5m to $9m after the 2018 season but that’s not terrible, and they could simply ask the Met’s to throw in some money for that year if they want a better prospect back.

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Lagares is available, and would clearly be the cheapest of the CF options on the market. Billy Hamilton is probably the only other option that’s better than Lagares in terms of value/defensive production, but he’s apparently going to cost something to the tune of Heliot Ramos. Lagares should cost a lot less than that given he hasn’t been healthy the last two years.

If the Giants aren’t trying to make this deal, they’re fools. If they can pull this off without losing something significant from the prospect system. And if they Met’s ask for anything more? Bobby should simply hang up the phone like he did when the Red’s asked for Ramos in return for Billy Hamilton.

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