Juan Lagares Elects Free Agency
Outfielder Juan Lagares has elected free agency after clearing waivers and being designated for assignment by the Angels last week, per the organization. With more than five years of service time under his belt the 33-year-old Lagares had the right to reject his outright assignment to the minors and head to the free agent market instead.
The Halos signed Lagares to a minor league pact in May, the second consecutive offseason deal Lagares agreed to with the team. In a brief taste of Triple-A at-bats this season the centerfielder hit .308/.379/.462, but since being called up in late May he has hit just .183/.210/.250 (31 OPS+) as part of a strong Angels outfield.
With souring (but still league average-ish) defensive metrics and speed, the former Met farmhand is best suited for fourth outfielder duty at this stage in his career. With center field playability on his side it seems likely another organization will take a flyer on Lagares as bench or upper minors depth in the coming days.