Looking At Mets’ Free Agent Options For Position Players

Supposedly, with money to spend the New York Mets are scouring the free agent market to ascertain options to address their numerous issues and holes.

GM Sandy Alderson said adding to the rotation and bolstering the depth of the bullpen is a priority. Even so, Alderson has a multitude of other issues to address, with only two positions – David Wright at third base and Daniel Murphy at second – seemingly secure.

BELTRAN: An encore?

BELTRAN: An encore?

There’s a question nearly every where else:

CATCHER: Travis d’Arnaud goes into spring training the starter despite a small window of performance. Anthony Recker proved more than a capable back up behind John Buck. However, d’Arnaud and Recker together is a young combination, and a veteran back up is likely to be signed.

Free-agent catching market: The best catcher on the market is Atlanta’s Brian McCann, but that will never happen. The way McCann calls a game and his leadership capabilities would be ideal for a young staff, but that’s a dream. The Braves are built on pitching and would be foolish to let McCann go. … John Buck will be on the market, and I wonder if the Mets will attempt to bring him back. They could do far worse. … Jose Molina, Dioner Navarro, Miguel Olive are available, but neither stands out. … A.J. Pierzynski and Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be on the market, but both will want to start.

FIRST BASE: The Mets haven’t decided between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, although speculation is they’ll choose the latter and attempt to deal Davis. Duda has shown a better plate presence than Davis when it comes to working the count and having a higher on-base percentage. However, the Mets remain seduced by Davis’ power potential and have not forgotten his 32 homers in 2012. Given they have two options, it’s unlikely they’ll sign a free agent unless they work deals for both.

Free agent first base market: The guy I am most interested in is Justin Morneau. He’s healthy and his line-drive style would be ideal for Citi Field. However, he might cost too much, but if the Mets clear the roster by dealing Davis and Duda, it might be worth it to give him a call. … Mike Napoli would also be expensive. … Mark Reynolds would provide power, but if the Mets are trying to reduce their strikeouts, he’s not the best option. … In looking at the first base market, it is easy to understand Alderson’s comments on a thin selection.

SHORTSTOP: Ruben Tejada will get every chance to regain his position, but he’s recovering from a broken leg, so there’s no telling if he’ll be ready. Omar Quintanilla was more than capable off the bench and should be invited back. … I would have liked to see Wilmer Flores play shortstop. He did some in the minors, but there’s concern about his range.

Free agent shortstop market: Yunel Escobar is out there, but the Rays have an option. … Rafael Furcal and Stephen Drew would be an upgrade over Tejada. … With Derek Jeter rehabbing for the Yankees, the Mets will get competition in the market.

OUTFIELD:  The Mets like Juan Lagares and envision him in their 2014 outfield. They also like Matt den Dekker’s defense, but wonder about his offense. The Mets’ improvement coincided with the acquisition of Eric Young, who resolved their leadoff hole. Young’s speed is an asset, but some scouts don’t have him rated any higher than a fourth outfielder. The Mets say they want power in the corner outfield spots, but if they replace Young their leadoff dilemma will resurface.

Free agent outfield market: The marquee names are Shin-Soo Chin, whom I am cool on. He’ll want a lot and I don’t think he’s worth the dollars. … Jacoby Ellsbury could turn this into a productive offense, but he’ll cost a lot. … Nelson Cruz, who is coming off a PED suspension, could be had for less than expected. … There has been talk in the media about bringing back Carlos Beltran, who should go down as one the Mets’ most productive players. Mets fans never forgave him for taking that third strike against Adam Wainwright in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, but they easily forget what he gave them over the long haul. Two years plus an option might get him back. … Also expensive, but somebody who could give the Mets the power they seek is Curtis Granderson, who made $13 million this season with the Yankees. … Another option who could be pricey, but is the kind of player the Mets should consider is Hunter Pence. … Nate McLouth, whom the Mets considered at one time, will be on the market.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos


18 thoughts on “Looking At Mets’ Free Agent Options For Position Players

  1. I too am curious about Morneau. I think he can be had for a deal similar to the original 3-year/$39M deal the Red Sox gave Napoli (before Napoli’s hip issues led them to settle for the 1-year/$5M) deal. You’re right though that both Duda and Davis would need to go for that to happen. I think Sandy is probably going to deal the one for whom he can get the bigger return and use the leftover guy in a platoon with Josh Satin.

    I’ve been on the Choo bandwagon for a long time. He’s a high on base guy and can hit for power, even when he was in Cleveland. Also, speaking as someone that grew up in Flushing, I can safely say he’d be a huge gate attraction for the massive Korean population that lives within 30 minutes of the ballpark and is generally disengaged by the team. He’d be a better bet than Granderson, who ESPNNewYork wrote a post about how his power is a product of the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium and wouldn’t be as big a power threat in Citi Field.

    • AV: I have always liked Morneau. … You’re probably right on how the first base position will pan out, although I wouldn’t mind if they just started over. I would take Choo over Granderson, although at the risk of being negative, I doubt they will get either.-JD

  2. Kendrys Morales?

    And I would say the trade targets are more appealing than many of the Free Agents. Elvis Andrus?

    And what about a starting pitcher like Bronson Arroyo?

    • Captain: The trade targets are appealing, but what do they have to give other than their young pitching? That’s why they have to be smart about the FA market.-JD

  3. I like Young, but he only solves the Mets’ leadoff problem if his OBP goes WAY up, not likely to happen.

    Quintanilla is a AAA player at best; why Alderson LOVES him is a mystery. The Mets gave Tejada years to prove himself. They both should go, and good riddance.

    After each came back from Las Vegas, Davis’ offense was WAY better than Duda’s, ESPECIALLY OBP. Duda should be a thumper but he prefers to try to walk. He takes the best hittable pitches in a sequence, then swings at crap. Plus, Davis is an actual first baseman; defensively, Duda is a DH.

    The time to keep Beltran was when they let him go. Too late now.

    To contend in 2014, Mets have to score at least 20% more runs than 2013 and stay healthy. Their physical conditioning philosophy and program desperately needs an overhaul. Too many pulls and strains.

    As of now, the Mets will not contend next year. They can’t win at home, they have huge health problems. They need a real shortstop, a right fielder, two starters (please, NOT Hefner) and are still auditioning 4 or 5 young guys. Their realistic goal should be to win 82 games and then build on that going forward.

    They should leave Wright and Murphy alone, leave Lagares in center, give Davis until the All-Star break to prove himself, invite Dice-K and Harang to camp.

    They should not try to reclaim Reyes, Beltran, Buck or Santana. They should not go after Mark Reynolds or Mike Napoli (they already strike out more than enough). Talk of Tulowitzki is also foolish. He’s a very brittle version of Cal Ripken Jr., and he’d want HUGE money. G Stanton is a good right fielder with mondo power but, at 24 years of age, he’s shown an inability to stay healthy and it’s doubtful Miami will let him go.

    I’d like to say 2014 will be interesting for the Mets and their fans but, truthfully, I can’t, because, right now, it looks like it will be a rerun of the past 5 seasons.

    • Chris: Thanks for your comment. It is much appreciated. You’re right about the inability to win at home and they need to score a lot more runs. It would help if they dramatically cut their strikeouts. At 74 wins this year, 81-plus is a reasonable next step considering they won’t have Harvey. … As for Tulowitzki, I don’t believe I mentioned him because they don’t have nearly enough to get him. What does separate 2014 from the past five years is they’ll have Zack Wheeler for a full year.-JD

    • I would take back Carlos. That would solve some hitting and fielding issues.
      He is not the only one but is an option.

      I am not as enamel red of Ike as you are. When he absolutely sucked for the past few years he refused to change. What does that say? I don’t know who to keep between the two but Luke is cheaper if not necessarily the better player. Ideally I would get rid of both and just put someone else in.

  4. We need an OF

    Your list says it won’t come cheap

    I don’t see how we have a choice. We have nothing in the minors that can help now.

    What we have here is not good enough.

    Beltran would be great. Choo would be good too.

    We need to limit the strike outs

    How good is Grandison outside the bandbox that is the Yankees?

    How is his defense?

    Forget pitching. They will probably bring back one or both of the veteran wounded we had this season for depth.we have too much pitching to spend on it unless we trade it for that guy in Florida.

    • As for Wilmer, they might trade our second best hitter to improve the team which would make a spot for him.

  5. The most glaring comment that stands out to me is that the Mets would rather go with Duda than Ike Davis. Don’t get me wrong, Davis has been a head case ever since he joined the big club, with his mental breakdowns causing his failure to progress to the next level. And his fielding suffered because of that failure at the plate. He continues to go for grounders off to the side instead to fielding them directly in line with his body. … Now we come to Duda, who by his performance in pressure situations continues to prove he is not a major league talent and quite frankly doesn’t appear to be very bright and is mentally incapable of adapting his hitting style to pressure situations. I mean honestly, I think it takes this airhead an hour and a half to watch ’60 Minutes’. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he thinks a ‘maxi pad’ is a big apartment!

    • Rob: That’s for your response. Love the 60 Minutes comment. Honestly, Rob, neither have stood out. It just might come down to dollars, and in that case it might come down to Duda.-JD

  6. leave Wright, Murphy, Lagares, Davis, D’arnaud alone..deal Davis and Duda get Morneau 1B, Drew SS, pick either Cruz , Elsbury or Granderson for OF, keep Dice K and Harrang, sign Wison to close.

    • james: There’s a lot there. Would like to deal Duda and/or Davis but who would want them? I like Morneau. Your outfield picks will be pricey, although I think Granderson might be the cheapest.. I think they’ll at least keep Dice K. Harang wouldn’t be bad as they could upgrade after spring training.-JD