Some teams enter the winter meetings with their eye to sign marquee players (Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton or Zack Greinke). Some teams are looking at lesser names with an eye towards completing their rosters (Angel Pagan, Jesus Flores or Nate Schierholtz). Some teams are looking to trade prospects to improve their teams (Toronto, New York AL or Boston). Some teams are looking to trade some of their top talent for future success (New York NL or Arizona). The good news, at least for Met fans who follow the minors, is that the Met prospects look relatively safe.
Free Agent Help: Now that the non-tenders have been non-tendered it’s time to look at a few NEW options for the Mets who will be budget conscious in any free agent decisions. I wrote before about who the Mets could trade R.A. Dickey for, but are there now some lesser free agents who could help the Mets.
Jesus Flores: A one-time Met prospect, he emerged in 2008 as a potential + hitter at catcher and then caught fire in 2009 before he was hit by injury and replaced through trade. He’s only 28 and profiles as an okay option.
Kelly Shoppach: I’m a supporter of bringing back Shoppach as long as the demands are reasonable. He seemed to both fit the lineup and work well with the pitching staff. He struck me as a potential club-house leader.
Matt Treanor: If nothing else, maybe his wife would play some charity volleyball games in New York.
Scott Hairston: I didn’t talk about him last time (because I thought his price would be too high) but the relative lack of interest I’m hearing means that Hairston could be looking at similar money to 2012 (albeit a longer contract).
Ryan Ludwick: The quintessential “Feast or Famine” hitter. He’ll be 35 in July and he’s not AT ALL consistent but given his righty power, he fits fairly well as the #5 hitter for the time being. Mets might be the only team offering him that kind of role.
Brandon Snyder: He’s only 26, he has power, he’s a righty and the Mets could get him cheap. He might amount to nothing but he’d be a good player to throw into a Spring Training mix to battle it out for a starting role… or to platoon with Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Delmon Young: Another player who seems like a no-brainer. He’s got power and proven hitting ability. He’s also not too old. I’d see if you could bring him to New York on a two year deal.
Reed Johnson: He’s the ideal 4th OF for most teams. On the Mets he’s the starting CF and potentially the leadoff hitter. Johnson is a versatile righty OF who could be useful even if he lost the starting role down the road.
Ryan Raburn: In 2009 and 2010 he looked like a rising star. After a bad 2011 and a worse 2012 he looks like he’ll sign cheaply.
Nate Schierholtz: He’s not a “Blow You Away” kind of talent but he does fit the Alderson profile of being contact oriented. The biggest strike against him is his handed-ness. The Mets don’t need another lefty bat, even if he’s an okay fit otherwise.
Trading a Cy Young: The R.A. Dickey saga will be concluded in the Winter Meetings. The Mets will either find a suitor who can offer them a package worth their time, or they’ll ink an extension. Notice the order there. They are looking for a deal FIRST… looking to extend second. There are two reasons for this.
Reason #1 – The Mets need to do their due diligence. Let us say that a team was willing to trade us a ridiculous package because they thought R.A. Dickey would put them over the top and they weren’t concerned as much with 2014 and 2105. You need to see what people are offering you for your bearded God of a Knuckleballer.
Reason #2 – The Mets are just as concerned as everyone else about Dickey’s age and future success. SURE, he’s been good as a Met, but is he going to be this good for 1 more season, 2, 3…? Is he going to show signs of age? Knuckleballers don’t age as quickly (in general) but they also don’t throw their knucklers that fast (in general).
So… the Mets will shop Dickey and if there are no suitors I would bet that they DO re-sign him, but be wary… if the Mets go South and Dickey stays successful, I expect him to be traded by the deadline.
Who would be happy with R.A. Dickey signing an extension and adding the services of Kelly Shoppach and Delmon Young?