Outfielder Johneshwy Fargas has returned to the Mets, the player himself announced on Twitter. (First cryptically, then more directly.) It can be safely assumed that this is a minors deal, due to the fact that major league deals cannot be signed during the ongoing lockout. The 27-year-old was eligible to sign such a contract due to the fact that he was outrighted in October and then elected minor league free agency in November.
Fargas made his MLB debut after the Mets selected his contract in May of last year to help shore up the club’s outfield after a number of injuries. However, after just seven games, Fargas landed on the IL himself, with a left AC joint sprain. After returning to health in July, he was optioned and then designated for assignment, being claimed on waivers by the Cubs. He bounced on and off the Cubs’ roster down the stretch, ultimately getting 15 more MLB games under his belt. Between the two organizations, he finished the season with 54 plate appearances in 22 games, hitting .250/.264/.385 in that small sample.
His best tool, however, is his speed, as evidenced by his 47 steals in High-A in 2018 and 50 in Double-A in 2019. Despite injuries limiting his playing time, he still racked up 18 steals in 2021, between Double-A, Triple-A and the majors.
The path to playing time in the Mets’ outfield might be steep, as they made significant upgrades before the lockout, adding Starling Marte and Mark Canha. Those two and Brandon Nimmo are likely to get the bulk of the outfield playing time, with Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith and J.D. Davis around to step in from time to time. Although that latter trio have been mentioned as possible trade targets, the club also has Khalil Lee, Nick Plummer, Mark Vientos and Travis Blankenhorn on the 40-man roster as depth options. However, if they were to suffer a rash of injuries like last year, Fargas could potentially rejoin the MLB club as a speedy option off the bench.