With free agency upon us, rumors are circulating that the New York Mets have taken an active interest in several players.
The Mets have been relatively quiet in free agency the past few seasons. They’ve had a young (albeit injury prone) core and wanted to see how far they could carry the team. With free agency starting soon, it appears that the team may change their way of thinking this season.
The team already appeared to be interested in getting a high-end relief pitcher, which is a change of pace from Sandy Alderson’s normal habits involving the bullpen (scrap it together and hope for the best).
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Mets are one of many teams interested in first baseman Carlos Santana, previously of the Indians. Although Dominic Smith is penciled in at first, General manager Sandy Alderson spoke about him on Monday and did not appear very happy with his young first baseman. This would lend more credence to that idea.
Heyman points out that the Mets were a surprise to be in on Santana, as they have other needs. Andy Martino of SNY added on that it is unlikely the team brings in Santana.
Mets will consider most first baseman, but Carlos Santana is unlikely
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) November 14, 2017
Mets are also monitoring the 2B trade market. Dee Gordon and Jason Kipnis, among others. Fact the Marlins are in the same division probably wouldn't impede a trade for Gordon. But unlikely they would get both a 2B and say Santana at 1B.
— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) November 14, 2017
Both are under team control, with Gordon signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021 and Kipnis signed through 2019 with a team option for 2020. The Marlins appear to have interest in trading Gordon due to his salary according to Barry Jackson and Clark Spencer at the Miami Herald, while Kipnis has been crowded out by a very strong Indians roster.
The #BlueJays and #Mets have reached out early on free agent Lorenzo Cain, sources say. #Rangers, #Mariners and #SFGiants also have CF openings and could be potential fits. The Giants are juggling a lot of balls right now.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) November 14, 2017
There are questions about Cain’s ability to remain in center field as he ages (he will turn 32 on April 13th, about two weeks into the season). However, the Mets would like to keep Michael Conforto in the corners, and Cain would allow them to do it for the time being.
Manager Mickey Callaway is not as committed to limiting his starters to two innings as Sandy Alderson is, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.
I asked Mets manager Mickey Callaway about the pitching plan that GM Sandy Alderson discussed at length yesterday: pic.twitter.com/MeiFy0GFZG
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) November 14, 2017
Callaway is of the opinion that if a pitcher is throwing well, there’s no reason to remove them after two trips through the lineup. Considering how overworked the bullpen was this season that approach makes a lot of sense.
Criss-Cross Coaching Changes
Finally, Mike Puma reports for the New York Post that Frank Viola and Glen Abbott will switch places in the organization. Viola, who was an All-Star with the Mets in 1990 and 1991, will be the pitching coach for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies now, while Abbott will fill the role for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s.