Gold Glove centerfielder Juan Lagares will be a Met for the foreseeable future.
Lagares, 26, and the Mets on Thursday finalized a five-year deal worth $23.55 million.
Lagares will retain his $528,696 salary this season under a one-year contract agreed to March 6. Going forward, the new deal breaks down with salaries of $2.5 million next season, $4.5 million in 2017, $6.5 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019. The Mets have an option in 2020 for $9.5 million.
Next winter, Lagares would have been eligible for salary arbitration. If the Mets don’t exercise their option after the 2019 season, Lagares can become a free agent.
In 2014, his second big-league season, Lagares hit .281 with a .321 OBP, four home runs, 47 RBIs, 46 runs and 13 stolen bases, but his biggest contributions came on defense. He ranked first in the National League in range factor per game as an outfielder at 2.67.
“I love the Mets,” Lagares told reporters Wednesday before the deal was done. “That’s the team that gave me the opportunity when I was 16 years old. That’s the team that gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues. … This is where I want to be.”