The New York Mets are involved in a slew of rumors. Ben Zobrist, Jerry Blevins and Daniel Murphy are all names being tossed around.
By Justin Weiss
As baseball fans everywhere are impatiently waiting for April, a slew of GMs, baseball executives, coaches, scouts and owners are exploring external options to improve their teams.
The noise (or lack of) that team’s make during the time known as baseball’s offseason is well documented on sites such as Bleacher Report, MLB Trade Rumors and the like.
It’s quite understandable (especially considering that I am a vocal critic) that people don’t trust nor have the patience for all the trade and signing rumors literally spit out of a machine daily.
I, for one, have attempted to tune out all the rumors and focus on the actual moves. However, in the age of click-bait articles and unnamed sources, it’s been hard to ignore all the moves that the 30 clubs are going to (or likely not going to) make.
The Mets, per usual, have received quite a lot of attention and speculation from the New York media. Let’s delve into the perplexing world of MLB trade rumors and establish what would make sense, the likelihood of a move occurring, and the impact that a given move would have on a team.
November 29, 2015: Ben Zobrist is the Mets’ number one target this offseason, Ken Rosenthal tweets. The length of the contract will “likely be [the] deciding factor,” he says.
December 2, 2015: While the team still has sights on Zobrist, Dexter Fowler could potentially sign, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.
December 6, 2015: Rosenthal tweets that Zobrist’s priority is to sign with a winning team, therefore putting the Braves in a precarious situation in the sweapstakes for the versatile player. “We’ve had conversations with his guys,” Mets assistant GM John Ricco says of Zobrist. “We’ll definitely be meeting with them [at the Winter Meetings]. It’s pretty obvious we think he’s a fit.”
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter): the Mets are willing to guarantee Zobrist 4-years. Where would the Mets look if they can’t sign Zobrist? Ricco: “Not sure… which direction [it] would go.”
Would it make sense?
Zobrist, 34, has incredible versatility and a strong OBP. The Mets have a glaring need at second base since Daniel Murphy entered free agency, and it would be a tough call starting Dilsson Herrera, an unproven prospect, at the middle infield position.
Additionally, Daniel Murphy has serviced the Mets quite well over the past couple of seasons, and many people believe that Zobrist is just as good, if not better, of a hitter as Murph. His fielding is also a plus, as he is versatile without sacrificing his glove.
The downside to signing him is quite blatant as well: Zobrist turns 35 in May, and it make sense that the Mets would be hesitant to give him a four-year contract. As free agency usually goes, the Mets would likely end up overpaying for the World Series champ.
If the Mets were to lose out on Zobrist, one would have to fathom that Sandy Alderson and his staff would still target one or two bats. Targets could include a solid second baseman, center fielder and/or utility player.
It seems like Zobrist is the team’s number one priority, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re willing to offer him the four year deal he likely desires. He’s looking for a winning team, and the Mets, who qualified for the World Series in 2015, would offer him that as well.
- Per MLB Trade Rumors, “The Mets seem to be more serious about adding a platoon partner for Juan Lagares in center field rather than sign an everyday center fielder like Fowler or Denard Span.”
It’s not neccesary to speculate about who the team would target, because the Mets could have tons of center fielder’s on their radar. However, it’s important to note that the Mets might make a push for a prominent CF if they can’t sign either Murphy or Zobrist.
- Daniel Murphy would likely make sense for the Dodgers, but it doesn’t appear that he’s on the forefront of the team’s plans.
While it’s doubtful that a reunion between Murph and the Mets occurs, many people would sure be happy if it did. He’s younger than Zobrist, has been in New York since the beginning of his career, and delivered like a beast in the 2015 NLDS and NLCS.
- The Mets have expressed interest in re-signing reliever Jerry Blevins.
The southpaw was impressive in a measly 5 innings last season, and would likely require some patience from the Mets. With Josh Edgin returning from Tommy John surgery and no dominant lefty specialist, it would make plenty of sense for Sandy Alderson to target the veteran reliever.
- Former Marlin reliever Steve Cishek could potentially end up in blue and orange.
Cishek had a 3.58 ERA, 1.78 K/BB rate and 7.8 K/9 over 55 1/3 innings for St. Louis and Miami. He was projected to receive roughly $7M in arbitration over the Summer. This move would be a bit of a reach — even with a depleted free agent relief market. There are many internal options (prospects, for instance) who could post similar numbers, and not command the money.