With the MLB Winter meetings officially underway, the free agency rumours are just getting started. With some big name pitchers now off the market, it’s time for some offensive stars to start inking new deals. The New York Mets have been involved in an abundance of rumours so far this offseason. With management likely letting Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy walk this offseason, here are five players whom the Mets may target.
The Mets are looking to add a veteran middle infielder who can still perform at a high level. With Daniel Murphy likely signing elsewhere, the Mets are heavily pursuing free agent utility man Ben Zobrist. At 34 years of age, Zobrist is coming off of a solid season where he hit .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs, while helping the Kansas City Royals win the World Series.
If the Mets can ink Zobrist, he will most likely be their every day second baseman. Multiple sources have said the Mets are offering Zobrist a three year deal; however, are willing to offer four year contract if it means landing the veteran. Zobrist and the Mets would be an ideal fit, as New York would get substantially better on defense, and still get production out of Zobrist on the offensive side of the ball. Expect a decision by Zobrist within the next day or so.
If the Mets are unable to land Zobrist, they could look in the direction of Ian Desmond. In 2015, Desmond hit .233 with 19 home runs and 62 RBIs. At 30 years of age, Desmond still has plenty of good baseball left ahead of him. If the Mets go with Desmond, then Wilmer Flores would likely shift over to his natural position of second base. It is a long shot that the Mets would land Desmond, but nonetheless would make sense if they lose out on Zobrist.
The Mets won’t be bringing back Yoenis Cespedes and although it will be almost impossible to replace the power that he brought to the table, the Mets do have some options. Dexter Fowler is coming off of a very impressive season, where he hit .250 with 17 home runs and 46 RBIs. The 29 year old is in the midst of his prime and could be a big addition for the Mets.
it is still yet to be seen if Juan Lagares can be an everyday centre fielder, so bringing in Fowler would be a smart move by management. With Michael Conforto, a star in the making set to take on an everyday position, and Curtis Granderson coming off of an impressive season, the Mets outfield looks to be in good shape heading into 2016.
If the Mets think Lagares is ready for an everyday role, they may look in the direction of 33 year old Will Venable, who will be a much cheaper option than Fowler. Venable is coming off of a season where he hit .244 with six homeruns and 33 RBIs. At this point in his career, Venable is probably no more than a backup but could be a fit in the Mets outfield.
Mets management will seriously consider bringing back veteran set up man Tyler Clippard, whom they acquired in a midseason trade from the Oakland Athletics last season. In 2015, Clippard pitched exceptionally well accumulating a 2.92 ERA to go along with 19 saves. Although Clippard struggled throughout the playoffs, he was impressive during the regular season. If the Mets are able to bring Clippard back, this will no doubt bolster their bullpen.