Albert Almora, Jr. is Officially Moving On, Signing with the New York Mets

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Albert Almora, Jr. is Officially Moving On, Signing with the New York Mets

Chicago Cubs

The first first-round draft pick of the Epstein-Hoyer era has officially moved on from the Chicago Cubs.

Albert Almora is off to join the Mets:

Non-tendered by the Cubs back in December, Almora’s contributions to the Cubs stagnated in recent years, and, even against lefties, he simply was not contributing. The glove is highly likely to still be top tier, but dramatic changes are needed to his approach at the plate – particularly his need to stop pulling breaking pitches on the ground – for him to be even a good bench contributor at this point.

The phrasing there is probably going to terrify Mets fans, as Almora is likely best framed as a complementary, buy-low, change-of-scenery piece than a “hey, you finally got your new everyday center fielder” piece. I think that’s probably more a leap by Rosenthal than an organizational directive.

That is to say, I don’t think adding Almora will necessarily take the Mets out of the market for Jackie Bradley, Jr., and instead is probably an effort to have a guy in place in case Bradley’s reported 4+ year demands don’t come down. Otherwise, Almora is just a potentially solid bench piece.

As for Almora, hey, like we said all along: I hope he turns it around in another organization. The lack of development at the plate with the Cubs was alarming, and is at least as much about them failing him as the other way around. The talent was always there, but the pitch-recognition was not, and the need to have him contributing intermittently at the big league level during the Cubs’ most competitive years probably didn’t do his development any favors.

Good luck to Almora. Hard-worker, good teammate, good guy by all accounts. No reason not to root for him to succeed.

And thanks for the most important tag-up in baseball history:

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.