Ben Zobrist or bust for the Mets?

Ben Zobrist


BaronIs it Ben Zobrist or bust for the Mets?

In a report for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff says if the Mets fail to sign the free agent super-utility player, the Mets don’t appear likely to sign a free agent of equal or greater caliber this winter to fill the need, such as Ian Desmond, Asdrubal Cabrera or Howie Kendrick.

Instead, the Mets would focus their efforts on finding a left-handed hitting outfielder to complement Juan Lagares, and explore re-signing Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe, as well as other lower-tiered free agents to compete with Wilmer Flores, Dilson Herrera and Matt Reynolds for the jobs on the middle infield. Continue reading

Heyman’s Notes: Justin Upton, Carlos Gomez on the Mets radar

Carlos Gomez Justin Upton


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The Mets and their on-going search for offense on the trade market has yielded no results to date.

Part of their dilemma could be their continued reluctance to deal any of their current starting pitchers at the big league level, including Steven Matz who is on the disabled list, writes Marc Carig of Newsday.

Here’s the latest from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports/MLB Network on the Mets pursuit of offense:

  • The Mets are, aiming high in their search for offense, as both Padres OF Justin Upton and Carlos Gomez are on their radar. Both would be fits for the Mets with Gomez being the better defensive player. Upton can be a free agent at the end of the year, so if the Mets acquired him, he would be ineligible to receive a qualifying offer. If the Mets were to re-acquire Gomez (remember, the Mets traded him in a package to the Twins for Johan Santana in February, 2008), they would be on the hook for about $12-13m through 2016, after which he can become a free agent.
  • The Mets are not high on Jean Segura as he doesn’t fit their style of hitting. He could be viewed as a fallback option if they fail to acquire a higher-end bat. He has also been a below average shortstop so far in 2015.
  • The Braves may be trying to trade Juan Uribe to the Mets, but the Mets haven’t shown much interest to this point. Acquiring Uribe would conceivable force the Mets to shift Daniel Murphy back to second base and Wilmer Flores to shortstop, a situation which didn’t prove ideal during the first half.

Mets might have been able to trade Dillon Gee for Juan Uribe, but passed

Juan Uribe


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With the excess starting pitching at the big league level and the need to find some offense due to injury and underperformance, the Mets may have had an opportunity to clear the logjam in a deal with the Dodgers.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes the Mets may have been able to trade Gee for 3B Juan Uribe last month. However, they passed on the deal because they believed David Wright was close to returning at the time, and were comfortable with using Daniel Murphy there to buy them time for Wright to come back.

Instead, the Dodgers traded Uribe to the Braves.

Assuming the Mets took on all of Uribe’s remaining contract – which expires after this season – the Mets would’ve been on the hook for about another $800,000 for Uribe, which is more or less a wash in baseball terms.

He’s playing better with Atlanta, but he wasn’t off to a great start with Los Angeles. Perhaps that could be attributed to the situation of having so many infielders and having instability on a daily basis, which would certainly explain his underperformance there this season. But he’s a static player at this point in his career, so if Wright were to come back, they’d have no place to put him on the infield.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Wright actually returns, but the Dodgers have better infielders they could deal than Uribe – he was the logical guy for them to move anyway.

Alex GuerreroThe Dodgers still have extra infielders. Currently, Justin Turner, and Alex Guerrero are all splitting time at third base, and while they have combined to be very productive, it’s not ideal to spend eight percent of the active roster on one position, particularly with the team needing more starting pitching.

In addition, they’ve signed infielder Hector Olivera, and top prospect Corey Seager is getting closer to the big leagues as well.

That might mean the Dodgers could still trade from their infield surplus to acquire starting pitching. 

The most appealing of Friedman’s surplus (among realistic targets) is obviously Guerrero. He’s not particularly young, but he played for a long time in Cuba before defecting and joining the Dodgers as a free agent in 2013. He has shown good power so far this season although he hasn’t walked very much.

His glove seems to be that of a utility infielder: he can play second, shortstop or third, although has yet to play short in the big leagues. He did play a little bit there last season and has experience playing there in Cuba. He’s probably best suited at second base – he’s relatively raw at third and hasn’t played more than seven games at shortstop since 2010. He is owed $21.5 million through 2017 and can opt out of his deal if traded, but if he stays he will only be arbitration eligible when that contract expires and can be controlled through 2021.

However, he will be about 32 when he becomes arbitration eligible, which makes the situation a little risky for any interested party.