The New York Mets have signed outfielder Desmond Jennings to a minor league deal. He will be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas to start the season.
The New York Mets have made a move to add to their outfield depth for the 2017 season. On Wednesday, the team signed outfielder Desmond Jennings to a minor league deal. Jennings will be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas to start the season. The team announced the deal on Wednesday. Jennings was released by the Cincinnati Reds after he struggled to surpass the .200 mark in Spring Training.
Jennings played with the Tampa Bay Rays for seven seasons before signing with the Mets. Last season with the Rays, Jennings hit .200/.281/.350 in 225 plate appearances. He hit seven home runs and knocked in 20 runs. His .631 OPS was the second lowest of his career, only better than his rookie year, in which he had an OPS of .625. He will look to improve on those marks with the Mets this season.
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In seven seasons with the Rays, Jennings proved to be a productive player at times. He hit .245/.322/.393 in his Rays career, while hitting 55 home runs and stealing 95 bases. He scored 311 runs and drove in 191 runs. Jennings had some success in Tampa Bay, but will he be able to carry it over to New York?
Jennings will first have to prove that he deserves a chance at the major league level. He will be competing for a spot in a busy outfield that includes Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce. He will either need Conforto to struggle or one of the others to get hurt to have a chance to play in that outfield. It will not be easy for Jennings to get playing time this year, but the Mets gave him an opportunity after he was released and he would have been a fool to walk away from that.
The Mets do need help in their lineup this season. They finished the 2016 season 12th in the National League in runs scored and 26th in all of baseball. The Mets have been searching for help for their lineup for a while now, and if Jennings hits well in Triple-A, he could provide them with the help that they so desperately need.
The pitching will be there for the Mets year-in and year-out but the lineup desperately needs a make-over. Look for Jennings to make an instant impact if he is called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets could potentially be a dangerous team if they are able to find some reinforcements for their lineup.