Mets sign Tommy Pham to 1-year deal

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

The Mets and Tommy Pham have reportedly agreed to a 1-year deal worth $6 million for the 2023 season. The 34-year-old outfielder struggled in 2022, putting up a .686 OPS and 87 OPS+ between Cincinnati and Boston. Pham joins his sixth career team after spending time with the Cardinals, Rays, Padres, Reds, and Red Sox.

His best season came back in 2017, where he hit .306/.411/.520 with a .931 OPS and got his first of two 20/20 seasons. Across 410 games from 2017-2019, Pham had a 130 OPS+, although in the three years since he has an OPS+ of just 93.

Pham likely slots in as a fourth outfielder for New York and another option at DH, particularly against left-handed pitchers. He has a career OPS of .843 against lefties and slashed .273/.338/.446 in 154 ABs against southpaws in 2022. The Mets outfield is likely set already with Mark Canha in left, Brandon Nimmo in center, and Starling Marte in right, but they have been seeking someone for a fourth outfielder role, which Tommy Pham now fills.

Defensively, Pham is a well below-average outfielder, having -6 OAA in 2022. What Pham did very well in 2022 was hit the ball hard, having an average exit velocity of 92.2 MPH, good enough for the 93rd percentile in MLB. His average exit velocity and hard hit rate are in the top 15% of the league.

Pham thrived against fastballs in 2022, hitting .279 with a .429 slugging percentage and 17.4% whiff rate. It was a very different story against other pitches for Pham, however, as he had a whiff rate of 38.8% against breaking pitches and 34.8% against off-speed pitches. His slugging percentage against non-fastballs dropped to under .300.

While maybe not the big addition Mets fans were hoping for in Carlos Correa, Pham adds further depth to the Mets roster, capable of playing the outfield or being the DH in case of injury or a day off to a lineup regular.

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