The Mets have considered making a run at free agent 1B Eric Hosmer, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag, with one source familiar with the Mets' thinking telling Heyman that landing Hosmer is a "long shot."
Hosmer, 28, had a career-year in 2017, hiting .318/.385/.498 with 25 HR, 31 doubles, and 94 RBI while playing in all 162 games for the Royals.
In their annual predictions, MLBTR has Hosmer signing a six-year deal worth $132 million.
For his career, he has hit .284/.342/.439 with 127 HR over seven seasons, while being worth -21 DRS at first base.
Sandy Alderson and the Mets are weighing a long list of players that could potentially play first base for them in 2018, according to Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert.
In early October, sources told the NY Post's Mike Puma that the Mets would likely consider free-agent options Logan Morrison, Jay Bruce, and Adam Lind, all of whom can play both first base and outfield.
In an ESPN.com article earlier this week, Buster Olney reiterated Alderson's potential interest in Lind, who hit .303 with 14 HR in 116 games for the Nationals last season.
The Mets were also among roughly 10 teams to express interest in free agent 1B Carlos Santana during November's GM Meetings, Jon Heyman reported for FanRag Sports.
In early November, Alderson indicated to reporters that first base prospect Dominic Smith had not secured a starting job on the team for the 2018 season.
"He didn't win it in September, let's put it that way," Alderson noted.
Alderson later said that while he's open to acquiring an every day first baseman capable of playing only that one position, such as Santana, any corner outfielder he acquires will need to also play first base, like Bruce, Morrison or Lind.
Morrison, 30, has spent his career splitting time between first base and outfield, though he has mostly served as a designated hitter since being traded to the American League three seasons ago. He hit 38 home runs and 22 doubles last year in Tampa.
Lind, 34, played first base and outfield for the Nationals this past season. Following three above-average years in Toronto and Milwaukee, Lind struggled with the Mariners in 2016. He rebounded in 2017 to hit .303 with a .362 OBP, 14 home runs and 14 doubles, while getting equal time in the outfield and first base.
If the Mets inquired about Santana, who is likely to get at least a three-year deal (if not more), it's fair to assume they are at least a little curious about free-agent Yonder Alonso.
For what it's worth, I haven't heard any rumblings connecting Alderson and Alonso, nor have there been any published reports linking them. However, knowing the Mets have multiple holes and just $30-40 million to spend on improvements as well as knowing Alderson is open to acquiring an every day first baseman, in stands to reason that the 30-year-old Alonso would be in their conversations.
For starters, the buzz in baseball has him eventually signing a one or two-year deal that is likely to pay him less than $10 million a season, which is similar to projections for Lind. My hunch is that Alonso will be even less expensive than that, which could make him a bargain given how he's been hitting more and more fly balls of late.
The above read like numbers Alderson would find attractive...
Lind, however, has more power against right-handed pitching than Alonso, as my editor Danny Abriano pointed out. In this sense, Lind and the lefty-mashing Wilmer Flores could actually be a solid combination. It's realistic to think Lind and Flores could combine to hit .300 and 25 home runs, while Flores backs up second and third, and Lind gets time in right, all for roughly $10 million.
That said, I don't think any team should feel the need to be cheap when it comes to the above names. I just don't see a hot market for first basemen, which is simply a continuation of what went down last winter. Again, I sense most MLB teams remain hesitant to commit dollars and years to these first basemen, as well as corner outfielders and designated hitters.
For instance, friends in Cleveland told me earlier this month that the Indians remain unwilling to give Santana more than a three-year contract. It may seem crazy to think Santana would need to settle, but I was told to look back at Edwin Encarnacion's situation last winter as insight in to how things might play out this year for Santana.
If you recall, after rejecting a four-year offer from the Blue Jays, Encarnacion and his agent were emphatic about eventually getting a five or six-year deal. However, after several miscalculations, he ended up settling for a three-year contract to play for the Indians. If the same situation is about to play out and it truly is a buyer's market , maybe Santana and Hosmer will end up with significantly less than they had hoped for, and so will Alonso, Bruce, Duda, Lind and so on...
My hunch is the Mets prefer Morrison. But, depending on where the market goes and what options are available at second or third base, the Lind-Wilmer combination may be better than most people think.