Mets need better defense and one spot the Mets need to improve defensively is Center Field. To get a CF, you can pay up for Springer. But the Mets can’t fill all their needs by free agency, trades need to be made. I would at least call the Cardinals to talk Harrison Bader (if the Cardinals are open to dealing him).
Bader main attraction is defense. In a short season in 2020, he collected a positive DRS of 1 and 12th among center fielders in OOA (4). In 2019 however, Bader collected a stunning 14 DRS according to fangraphs and 4th in OOA with 13. Stunning defensive numbers for the 26 year old.
Offensively, Bader isn’t as good. He has a career slash line of .234/.322/.399 and that would be expected out of him. He did had a stronger showing in 2020, having a .779 OPS.
Offense is clearly not the reason you get Bader, it’s defense. But with the Mets having lots of offensive thumb, adding better defense is worth the lesser offense IMO.
Bader will be arbitration eligible for the first time this off-season and is under control after the 2023 season. This will make him a fairly expensive get, prospect wise. Maybe you can trade an under controlled player (JD Davis) for him, but I don’t know if the Cardinals would agree to that. They do need thumb in their lineup, which JD can bring.
The Cardinals have Dylan Carlson who can play center to replace Bader in their line-up or go for Springer? Their outfield production hasn’t been good, so could see them changing it up and moving on from Bader.
At least worth a call IMO.