The Mets had been reportedly seeking a versatile player in trade who can play third base now, but could shift off that position and start elsewhere should David Wright return from the disabled list.
However, as time goes on with no clear path to success for Wright’s back injury, it’s becoming more and more apparent the injury is being considered a longer-term situation for 2015.
As such, Sandy Alderson said on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field the team would consider acquiring a static third baseman this summer.
“Would you consider a third baseman who can’t do anything else? Under the current circumstances, yeah, we probably would,” Alderson explained.
Alderson did say they don’t just want to acquire bodies to fill the need at the position – rather they are seeking individuals who can offer significant improvement.
“We’re not just looking for any third baseman,” he explained. “It has to be something we think is an improvement that doesn’t cost us significantly. I’m focusing on the talent part of it for what we’re trying to do this season and next season as well.”
That can be read any number of ways. Obviously, the Mets need to look beyond Wright for this season and consider him a non-option right now. But the team is obviously thinking worst-case scenario in that this could be a problem beyond the scope of 2015, which is a smart way to approach this issue.
Of course, as Alderson has said during this process with Wright, what happens if he comes back, whether its in 2015 or 2016? The answer probably has to be that they’ll worry about that when and if it becomes a problem, and right now, it just doesn’t seem like a problem they’re going to have.
Among the names the Mets have been linked to is Aramis Ramirez, and Marc Carig of Newsday said earlier this week the Mets are weighing an opportunity to acquire the Brewers third baseman. However, Adam Rubin of ESPN New York classified the possibility of the team acquiring him as unlikely.
Andy Martino of the Daily News recently said the Mets are reportedly trying to move both Dillon Gee and Jon Niese, which would certainly support the notion the Mets may need to move one or both in their pursuit to acquire more offense.
However, in regards to Ramirez, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports said recently the Brewers are not interested in Niese, and a deal involving Gee to Milwaukee seems remote at the present time.
Ramirez is certainly not an ideal fit. He’s retiring, and while he’s historically been a better second half player, who knows how much he has left in the tank. He potentially can improve to replacement value which would probably be better than what they have in Eric Campbell right now, but that doesn’t mean that’s an appropriate solution, as Alderson hinted at.
But, if the Mets can get Ramirez for a minimal return, it might be worth considering while also exploring other deals for more versatile options, assuming they’d be willing to take on the salary. Perhaps the air of a pennant race and meaningful baseball would tap into Ramirez’s reserve down the stretch.
He’s owed about $9 million, so that can be a significant gamble for the team to take, especially his lack of productivity to date and Milwaukee wanting the trade partner to absorb the remainder of his contract if he continues to be unproductive.
Unfortunately, the Mets may have to assume some risk and take a chance in order to get better, whether it’s a risk taken in Ramirez or another bat.