Despite being a month away from spring training, some top name free agents remain unsigned, including C Jonathan Lucroy.
Lucroy, a two-time All-Star, endured a down year in 2017, hitting .265/.345/.716 in 423 AB with lows in HR, 6, and RBI, 40, since his rookie season. The 32-year-old is expected to command a two-year, $10-12 million per year deal. The guys on Baseball Night in New York discussed the possibility of the Mets signing Lucroy.
"I think it's getting overlooked for years-- FOR YEARS-- one of their biggest weaknesses has been catcher," SNY contributor Sal Licata said. "When they made the trade for Travis D'Arnaud we all thought 'hey, finally, Sandy Alderson addressed this big need and they got a catcher in here.' Well, it's 6 years later and D'Arnaud has still not been that guy."
In what was his fifth season, D'Arnaud, 28, hit .244 with 35 extra base hits last year. However, during the team's final 32 games, he batted .293 with a .343 OBP, six HR, eight doubles and 20 RBI.
It's surprising that Lucroy is still available, and SNY's Andy Martino believes it's possible that Lucroy's asking price may go down enough for the Mets to make an offer.
"The way these next couple weeks are going to shape where these guys just aren't getting paid," Martino said. "Lucroy is going to have to look, 'do I want to play baseball? Do I want a minor league invite? What is this market?' So maybe it comes to a point that it makes sense for the Mets unexpectedly, but it would be a pivot from where the Mets are thinking."
Martino is looking forward what will happen in free agency for the rest of January.
"I really think baseball is going to be fascinating over the next couple of weeks when all of these guys who don't have jobs but still want to play start coming back to the fold," Martino said. "I think you're going to find people getting signed to teams that we never would have seen coming."
Perhaps Lucroy to the Mets would be an example of an unexpected signing, but Alderson recently talked about his happiness with D'Arnaud.
"I couldn't be happier with Travis' progress,'' Alderson said in an e-mail to Newsday's Steve Marcus. "Last year he had a career high in home runs, RBIs and games played. Glenn Sherlock has helped him tremendously with his footwork behind the plate. I look for him to continue to make progress in all these areas again in 2018.''