MLB free agency: Mets agree to terms with outfielder Starling Marte on four-year, $78 million deal, per report

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The New York Mets late Friday night agreed to terms with free agent outfielder Starling Marte on a four-year, $78 million contract, Jon Heyman reports. Marte is coming off a standout 2021 season for the Marlins and A’s in which he batted .310/.383/.457 (132 OPS+) with 12 home runs and 47 stolen bases in 120 games. Coming into the offseason, our R.J. Anderson ranked Marte as the No. 10 free agent of the 2021-22 class. Here’s his write-up: “Marte, who turned 33 in October, has now been a dynamic player for more than a decade. He can hit for average; he can get on base by virtue of being a hit-by-pitch magnet or (increasingly) by walking; he can deliver 40-plus extra-base hits; he can steal bases at volume and with efficiency; and, oh yeah, he can play a good outfield, especially in a corner. The only things Marte can’t do are turn back the hands of time or guarantee that he won’t miss time with a fractured bone because of one of those aforementioned hit-by-pitches. He’s easily the best outfielder in the class.”For his career, Marte has an OPS+ of 116 across parts of 10 MLB seasons, eight of which came with the Pirates. Along the way, Marte has made an All-Star team and claimed a pair of Gold Gloves. Marte’s signing by the Mets is the most notable of the offseason thus far and it occurs mere days before the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement and a possible lockout by team owners. With the Mets, Marte figures to be the primary center fielder alongside Brandon Nimmo in right and recent addition Mark Canha in left. The Marte signing also likely signals that Michael Conforto, a free agent, will not be returning to the Mets. Marte’s addition occurs on the same day that the Mets also signed Canha and utility infielder Eduardo Escobar. 

The Mets under new GM Billy Eppler are still likely to add to the rotation, but already they’ve added one of the most coveted names on the market. 

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