On Tuesday, Terry Collins said he would like the Mets to procure a left-handed complement to Juan Lagares in center field, and also some right-handed depth for the roster as well.
One of the right-handed bats the Mets are connected to, according to the Bergen Record’s Matt Ehalt, is free agent Ryan Raburn.
Rayburn, 34, hasn’t been a full-time player since 2011, serving mostly in a super-utility role capable of playing in the outfield as well as first base, second base and third base. He has been up and down over the last couple of years but he’s a disciplined hitter who gets on-base and has some pop, although he doesn’t have much speed.
He’s about league-average defensively, but he hasn’t played much on the infield over the last couple of seasons, which could be an issue if he’s viewed as a potential backup to David Wright at third base.
But Wilmer Flores seems slated to be Wright’s backup, which would limit Raburn’s exposure in that role.
Raburn would certainly go a long way towards deepening the Mets bench and giving the Mets even more versatility, which has really been the goal for the Mets this winter. He would give the Mets another platoon alternative at two corner outfield spots, first base, and second base, if the Mets were able to secure his services.
Versatility is the name of the game for the Mets this winter, and Raburn posted a 1.004 OPS against left-handed pitching in 70 games against left-handed pitching in 2015. He has a career .827 OPS against southpaws.
Raburn just completed a two-year, $4.85 million contract which he signed before the 2013 season with the Indians. The club had a $3 million option on Raburn, but chose to buy him out for $100,000. He hit .301/.393/.543 with 16 doubles, a triple, eight home runs and 29 RBI in 201 plate appearances over 82 games with the Indians in 2015.