The Mets entered this week already having held trade talks with the Indians about 2B Jason Kipnis, as well as with the Tigers about Ian Kinsler, Marc Carig reported Sunday for Newsday.
According to Carig, talks with Detroit are more advanced than the Indians, though a source with knowledge of the situation expressed skepticism that a deal could get done.
I've heard the A's are again open to dealing 34-year-old 2B Jed Lowrie, who they chose to retain a month ago by picking up his option. In an effort to take advantage of his amazing 2017, I bet Oakland pushes hard to move him sooner than later.
If they do, Lowrie strikes me as someone that will intrigue Alderson because he's an above average fielder at shortstop, second and third base; he draws walks; he puts the ball in play; and -- most important -- he's due just $6 million and a free agent at the end of next season.
In regards to Kinsler, while the Mets and Tigers are said to be on the same page when it comes to swapping players, the two teams do not agree on the money. Friends from Detroit tell me the Tigers want the Mets (or Angels, who are also interested in Kinsler) to pay all $11 million left on the second baseman's one-year contract, whereas the Mets want the Tigers to pick up a portion of the money.
The Tigers are eager to trade Kinsler before the end of this week's Winter Meetings in Orlando, though, at least according to people in Orlando. Best I can tell, their motive has something to do with roster space and having to add or subtract players in advance of the Rule 5 Draft. If this is accurate, the Mets and Angels will likely play it cool and flirt with other options, such as Lowrie, in hopes that Detroit becomes desperate and kicks in some cash...
In regards to Kipnis and Brian Dozier (Twins), I believe they're available in trade. But, because only the Mets and Angels are eager to make an acquisition, and because the Twins and Indians intend to be in the postseason next season, I'm convinced neither player will get dealt this winter.
Sandy Alderson said Sunday that Asdrubal Cabrera will spend most of his time in 2018 playing third base, which essentially confirms the team's interest in a second baseman.
Again, I'd be down for Alderson acquiring Lowrie. However, in typical fashion, Oakland will almost certainly want more prospects than the Mets are willing to deal.
Therefore, as of Monday night, I'd bet the Mets eventually either acquire Kinsler and a throw-in relief pitcher from Detroit, or they'll sign free-agent Neil Walker or end up with a multi-use flyer, like Ryan Goins, who will compete and split time with the rest of Alderson's utility infielders.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is the host of SNY's MetsBlog Q&ACast and the lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. 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!