It’s the Winter Meetings, dammit! Here’s a post where I round up all the Mets-related rumors I’ve seen on MetsBlog and spew my opinions on them. SPOILER ALERT: Just about everything I say will include “depending on the price.”
Mets interested in Fred Lewis: Well that’s cool — depending on the price, of course. Lewis would make a fine fourth outfielder, and a legitimate contingency plan for the three penciled-in starters — all of whom have struggled with injuries recently or historically. He can play the corners and fill in at center field in a pinch.
And while Lewis won’t make anyone in New York forget Mickey Mantle, he can hit a bit too — especially against right-handed pitchers. For his career, the lefty-hitting Lewis has a solid .280/.354/.442 line against righties.
Mets close to signing Ronny Paulino: I feel like Ronny Paulino has been “close” to signing with the Mets like 15 times before. Paulino has a rep as a solid defensive catcher and fared well in Beyond the Boxscore’s catcher-defense rankings. He is not a great hitter, though his career .273/.328/.383 line is pretty similar to the 2010 National League average for catchers — .253/.326/.388.
Perhaps most importantly, the righty-hitting Paulino has, for his career, a marked platoon split. He’s got a measly .635 OPS against righties but an .881 mark against lefties, essentially the Matt Diaz of catchers. Assuming he doesn’t cost multiple years or numerous millions, he would be a great choice to spell Josh Thole against tough southpaws, or even in a straight platoon — since catchers need time off anyway. Combined, they’d give the Mets excellent offense from behind the plate.
Mets “in contact” with Russell Martin: Martin would also make a nice righty-hitting complement to Thole, but I don’t see this one happening. Martin reportedly rejected a one-year, $4.2 million deal from the Dodgers, so the only way I imagine the Mets getting seriously involved in his pursuit would be if he’s still a free agent later this winter.
The one interesting thing about Martin is that he has said he’s open to playing first, second and third next year if some team wants him for a super-utility role. But since the Mets have Thole in house, they could probably find better ways to spend $5 million.
Mets among 6-8 teams interested in D.J. Carrasco: How interested, though? Because if there are 5-7 other teams bidding on Carrasco I imagine he’s going to require a decent chunk of change, and he’s really not all that spectacular. If the Mets are trying to save money they should probably be searching the scrap heap or converting starters to fill out their pen, not signing free-agents. I’d pass on this one.
We should keep Jerry Hairston Jr.’s name in mind: I have no idea what that means, but I will do just that. I am a fan of Old Man Hairston’s kid. Plays every position pretty well, gives a team a lot of flexibility. Also, good guy.
Mets interested in every living unspectacular or recently injured free-agent starting pitcher: I mean, someone’s going to need to pitch. Maybe it’ll be Freddy Garcia or Chris Young or Jeff Francis. This one is almost entirely based on information I do not have access to: The cost and reports the pitcher’s health. Hard to speculate on which one of these guys would be best if I don’t know who seems most likely to hold up for a season.
Mets willing to take calls on every player, unlikely to deal stars: This seems like it’s probably true every year, right?
Mets might hire Moises Alou as first-base coach: Not a chance he stays healthy for the full season.
What’d I miss?