The MLB Winter Meetings conclude Thursday afternoon following the annual Rule 5 Draft.
Adding an everyday catcher
The Mets have been the subject of a variety of trade rumors that would send Marlins C J.T. Realmuto to Queens. There have been reports that put them way ahead of other interested in teams, there have been reports involving a third team, and there have been reports of the Marlins lowering their price balanced by reports indicating they're still asking for way too much.
Along those lines, according to a variety of reports, the Rays, White Sox, Yankees, Reds, Dodgers, Braves and other previously interested teams are still linked for Realmuto, who the Marlins technically do not have to trade.
The Mets met earlier this week with representatives for free-agent C Wilson Ramos and SNY's Andy Martino says the team could quickly pivot to C Yasmani Grandal if they don't feel like a trade for Realmuto is in the cards. The White Sox also have interest in Grandal, Chicago's MLB.com reporter notes.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> Up until this week, the Mets had been the only team interested in Realmuto offering under-contract, established, big-league talent earning the league minimum, which is what the Marlins hoped to acquire in a deal. However, they had been asking for two of these players, plus they have been demanding Amed Rosario, who the Mets have yet to show a willingness to include in a deal.
Yesterday, I was told by a Marlins source to expect to see reports indicating other teams were moving past the Mets and, sure enough, those reports hit around 3 p.m. ET. This would suggest that either the Mets are out of the running, or these other teams are not close and, for fear of the Mets moving on and signing Grandal, the Marlins faked interest from other teams in hopes the Mets would get spooked and part with the two players, including Rosario. However, there is no indication that is going to happen.
So, in the next few days, I expect either 1) Realmuto gets dealt to the Mets in a deal that includes Rosario, or 2) the Mets give up and sign Grandal, Ramos or Martin Maldonado and/or 3) Realmuto is traded to a different team for a basket of top prospects.
Adding an everyday center fielder...
Free-agent OF Adam Jones and his representatives have spoken with the Mets, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said Wednesday night.
According to FanCred's Jon Heyman, the Mets had interest in Andrew McCutchen before he inked a three-year, $50 million deal with the Phillies.
Late last week, reports indicated the Mets had interest in free-agent center fielder A.J. Pollock, who Van Wagenen flat out said is the type of outfielder he is hoping to acquire. The Braves also have interest in Pollock and are considering whether to make him a formal offer, The Athletic's Atlanta reporter, David O'Brien, wrote Wednesday.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I'm leery of Pollock because he's dealt with injuries the past few years and the last thing the Mets need is another injury-prone outfielder -- especially when the guy is aiming for a four-year deal. Instead, assuming they can add reliable offense at another position, I'd love to see them add Jones.
I realize Jones is far from the fielder he was just a few years ago, and he may or may not be able to play center field anymore, but he is the exact type of veteran, professional leader that I think would benefit this specific Mets roster. Plus, despite being 33 years old, he has played at least 139 games each of the past nine seasons.
He's been in steady decline since 2013, I get it. But, with a move to New York on a team with a new GM, new energy, a terrific pitching staff and a reason to believe they can win in 2019, I think he'd be motivated and improve. I have no doubt that a large part of his decline is due to playing for a lost-in-the-wilderness, depressing Orioles team that he helped build earlier in his career. He's far from perfect, but I think he is a perfect fit for the Mets.
Upgrading offense at another position...
The Cardinals, who traded last week for 1B Paul Goldschmidt, are now discussing whether to sign Bryce Harper, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
As a result, they are fielding calls from multiple teams interested in trading for 1B-OF Jose Martinez, GM Michael Girsch told reporters.
INSIGHT & ANALYSIS >> I'm intrigued by Martinez, who is a godawful fielder and was a 28-year-old rookie, but he's also been one of the most productive, most professional hitters in the league during the past few years. Despite now being 30 years old, he's also earning the league minimum in 2019, after which he's under contract and eligible for arbitration through 2022. He'd be an ideal super-utility, bench player with trade value to an American League team that can be cut or non-tendered with very little risk during the next year or so.
He's a better corner outfielder than first base, though he's below average at all three. That said, he can hold his own at each position and again, while filling in for and backing up Peter Alonso, Conforto and Nimmo, he can also easily be cut or non-tendered.
He's not a perfect fit, and I have no idea what he'd cost in trade, but he's worth thinking about given his salary, bat and ability to play positions where the Mets need depth.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!