New York Mets Free Agency Preview

Posted: November 3, 2013 in Hot Stove, Opinion
Tags: , , ,

By Steven Inman

Photo by Metsmerizedonline.com

Photo by Metsmerizedonline.com

With less than 30 hours to go until MLB free agents can sign with other teams, here are five names that will likely be on the Mets radar and are realistic signings for the 2014 Mets. Again since the Mets finished with the 10th worst record in baseball, they will NOT lose their first round draft pick should they sign one of these players. With over 55$ million coming off the books this winter in players that gave the Mets virtually nothing on the field, the Mets are in a prime position to dramatically improve their ballclub this winter. Here’s the list:

1.Shin Soo Choo: Choo will be the Mets #1 free agent target this winter, no doubt about it. He is everything Sandy Alderson is looking for in an outfielder, a strong arm, power and a lot of patience at the plate. It is a little concerning that Choo will go from a homerun ballpark in Cincy to spacious Citi Field. Expect his power to decrease next year should he leave Great American Ballpark. The major red flags from Choo come from the fact that he is already 31 and will likely get a five-year deal in Free Agency this winter. The Mets may be better off spending this kind of money on multiple players, however the Mets love Choo and will need a leadoff man. He will get a lot of money and as a Scott Boras client, expect this to drag out for a few months.

2. Nelson Cruz: Cruz should be a popular Met target this winter since he has power and his market will likely be diminished due to a 50 game PED suspension. Signing a PED player wasn’t a problem for Alderson when he brought in Marlon Byrd last winter. Cruz has enormous power, the most power on the free agent market. Cruz was actually signed as an international free agent by the Mets but never got to New York, bouncing around before finding a home in Texas. There is a decent chance that Cruz returns to Texas. Cruz has a very strong throwing arm but little range with could pose a problem in Citi Field. The red flag with Cruz comes from his massive strikeout totals, his 2013 PED suspension and the fact that he is a terrible defensive outfielder. He likely could get a three year deal in free agency for about $12 million per year.

Nelson Cruz could give the Mets the power threat that they're searching for

Nelson Cruz could give the Mets the power threat that they’re searching for

3. Stephen Drew: We have speculated here on BrokeMets about the Mets likely pursuit of Drew. He had a solid season with the Boston Red Sox and is unlikely to return with top prospect Xander Bogaerts ready to take over. Drew had a very mixed postseason stint with the World Champion Red Sox. He was stellar defensively at short getting anything near him but was just horrendous with the bat until Game 6 vs. the Cardinals where he homered in the clincher. The red flag with Drew is how much will he hit in a much worse lineup and with the lack of shortstops available his market should include at least half a dozen teams.

4. Marlon Byrd: Byrd had the best season of his career in 2013 between the Mets and the Pirates. He hit a career high 24 homers, not including a strong postseason showing, and played a wonderful right field. The Pirates are trying to lock him up before he hits free agency on Tuesday but I’ve been told that is unlikely to happen at this point. Every team could use a lefty mashing power bat so he should have a strong enough market to get a two year deal. The red flag with Byrd is he is one year from a PED suspension as well, and is also already 36 so a multiyear deal is risky.

5. Tim Hudson: Hudson who has had a wonder career could be a great veteran to add to a very young pitching staff. Last time we saw Hudson he was being carted off at Citi Field after breaking his ankle with a collision with Eric Young Jr. Hudson was having another solid season and was in line for close to 200 innings yet again. The red flag for Hudson comes from the fact that he missed the second half of the season last year and will turn 39 next July. He could be a solid option on a one year deal but there is a pretty good chance he goes back to Atlanta looking for that one last chance at a World Series ring.

 

The Mets are going to need a few outfielders, a shortstop and a starting pitcher or two so these are a few names to consider when free agency starts at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

 

Who should the Mets look at in free agency this winter?

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