There are 24 days until Mets pitchers and catchers are required to report to Port St. Lucie for the official start of Spring Training. That said, Yoenis Cespedes, Amed Rosario, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, and several pitchers are already in town working out at the team's complex...
In the meantime, the Mets are reportedly still in the market to acquire one more position player, which will likely be a free-agent infielder signed to a guaranteed contract.
I've heard Sandy Alderson can spend roughly $10 million more on new talent this winter, though that number could be more depending on the player.
As I explained yesterday, at this point, I think more can be gained from signing a reliable free agent number-three starting pitcher, as opposed to acquiring an infielder. However, my hunch is the Mets will do the opposite and land Eduardo Nunez, who he can play second and third base and will be less expensive ($7-8 million a year) than Neil Walker or Todd Frazier.
Earlier this week, Sandy Alderson talked with reporters after announcing he had re-signed Jay Bruce to a three-year deal...
Here are the four things I noticed must during his Q&A session...
1) The Mets did not sign Bruce to play first base. He'll be a corner outfielder. If he's regularly playing first base then things didn't pan out for Adrian Gonzalez, Dominic Smith, and Wilmer Flores.
2) If the Mets add another relief pitcher, he'll be inked to a minor-league deal.
3) If the Mets add an infielder, he's more likely to be a free agent.
4) Alderson really likes Brandon Nimmo, who he described as "interesting."
"First of all, he had almost an .800 OPS last year in limited playing time," Alderson said. "He's shown a real ability to come off the bench and have good at-bats for us. He plays with energy and enthusiasm. He's kind of the poster boy for the kind of offense we and other people are trying to create. He is a player that we like and a player that a lot of other teams like as well."
I like Nimmo, too. I hope they keep him because I think he can be an effective, modern day leadoff hitter. However, if some team wants Nimmo in trade, Alderson should not let it stand in the way of upgrading the overall roster to help win now over tomorrow. I mean, if the 24-year-old Nimmo is so wonderful, why did Alderson sign Bruce?
Here are five things I've learned this week after talking with multiple MLB and team insiders, friends in media, and people around the game...
1) The Mets don't seem interested in moving Juan Lagares. I realize we speculate a lot about dealing him to free up money and sign or trade for someone else, but teams that have talked with the Mets say Alderson is seemingly locked in to using Lagares most days in center field.
This may be because they have faith that him and Nimmo can hold down the fort in center field when Michael Conforto is in extended spring training, but it may also be because the Mets don't seem interested in paying close to $20 million per season for free-agent Lorenzo Cain.
2) My hunch is the Braves are more likely to land Todd Frazier than the Mets or Yankees, at this point. He's hellbent on getting a multi-year deal and no one thinks the Yankees want to lock in to anything at third base beyond one year -- be it for Frazier or anyone else.
In regards to the Mets, the money and commitment it would take to land Frazier is not worth what moving Cabrera to second base will do to the infield defense.
At that point, Alderson would be better off signing Neil Walker or just biting the bullet on paying Josh Harrison's $10 million tab in trade. That said, I still prefer he sign Cobb or Lynn, and let Cabrera and Wilmer Flores hash out second and third base...
3) Speaking of third base, David Wright's status is still a mystery. From what I can gather, he's till working out from his home in Virginia and intends to report to St. Lucie soon. My hunch is we're not going to see as much of David as we did last spring. I expect he'll slowly get back in to the swing of things and let the team feel out his ability away from cameras and fans.
4) I've heard the Rockies could be a sleeper team to get Eric Hosmer, who is still unsigned, despite reports in early-January that he had competing seven-year offers from the Padres and Royals.
5) I don't see the Brewers trading breakout 3B Travis Shaw, because I don't believe rumors that they have interest in Mike Moustakas. Instead, I hear they're far more likely to sign a free agent starting pitcher, such as Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, while waiting to land a free-agent outfielder, such as Lorenzo Cain or Logan Morrison, on a one-year deal.
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. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...