The New York Mets have remained relatively quiet since their first free agent signing earlier in the off-season. Albeit the player they signed was one of the most sought after free agents this winter in Yoenis Cespedes, a player the Mets desperately needed to retain. Still, there are still multiple areas the team has yet to address meaning there could be some more impactful moves that will be made in the not so distant future.
In re-signing Cespedes, the Mets outfield situation has become a bit complicated. The Cuban slugger is expected to man left field opening day but after that, a lot is still up in the air. The Mets picked up Jay Bruce’s $13 million club option in case of a Cespedes departure. However, Bruce struggled after his mid season trade to the Mets posting an uninspiring .219 batting average with only 8 home runs in 50 games. His spot on the team is all but secure. Curtis Granderson, a starting outfielder on the Mets for the past three seasons is on the final year of his 4 year $60 million contract. He is a very versatile defender, capable of playing all three outfield spots. His presence in the clubhouse is admired, as many teammates have lauded him as a tremendous leader. The last outfielder vying for a starting spot, Michael Conforto has shown tremendous promise in his young major league career. He has shined on the brightest of stages, hitting two home runs in a single World Series game. However, after his scorching hot start this past April, he really faltered for the remainder of the season with an extended stint in the minors to show for it. It’s safe to say, the Mets still have some sorting out to do with their outfield.
General manager Sandy Alderson has not been tight-lipped about his desire to trade an outfielder this offseason. He has actively shopped both Bruce and Granderson this winter in an effort to not only help clarify the outfield situation but to potentially acquire some relief help as well. Mets closer Jeurys Familia could be facing a lengthy suspension as a result of his domestic violence case. Likewise, Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas, two effective relievers for the Mets this past season are free agents. Acquiring a reliever for one of the team’s surplus of outfielders could certainly be viewed as a beneficial move for the Mets. However, the trade market has been rather dry for both Bruce and Granderson. During the winter meetings, Alderson was interested in dealing Bruce in a trade for Orioles reliever Brad Brach but Baltimore would not budge. If the Mets cannot strengthen their bullpen via trade, there are some quality arms still in the free agent market. Some notable, yet affordable names include Sergio Romo, Boone Logan, and Joe Blanton. It is clear that the Mets team is not set in stone heading into the 2017 season and it remains to be seen how they bolster their roster in the upcoming months to give themselves their best chance to compete for a title in 2017.