The New York Mets made some good moves during the winter meetings to bolster their infield. With Daniel Murphy on his way out, the team traded for Neil Walker and acquired Asdrubal Cabrera to help next season, but they still have holes to fill on the field. The Mets need outfielders as Michael Cuddyer announced he was retiring from baseball. Does that mean the Mets will now chase Yoenis Cespedes?
According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, the Mets ruled out the return of Cespedes even though the team was willing to hand out a big contract to Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward. General manager Sandy Alderson told the media that he did not believe it was financially possible to get the outfielder to come back. However, now the Mets have Cuddyer leaving which creates a huge deficit in the outfield. Cespedes might have just become a priority for the Mets.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that even with the retirement of Cuddyer, the Mets are still not targeting the return of Cespedes. According to Sherman, the Mets now want to save money in free agency after missing on Zobrist and saving money with the Cuddyer retirement. The issue for the Mets is that the retirement of Cuddyer means the Mets have no real excuse to not chase Cespedes or potentially another top outfielder on the market. With $12.5 million back in the bank, it i time to go out and get a big bat. According to assistant general manager John Ricco, the Mets are planning on putting together a strategy for the rest of the offseason.
"As we moved forward, we got a little bit more substantive in terms of the conversations," Ricco said, via ESPN.com. "I think we're in a good place. We know the landscape. It's just a matter of where we decide we're going to target and be aggressive. We'll head back to New York, regroup with Sandy and decide what the strategy is from here."
If the Mets do not want to bring back Cespedes, who are their options? The high-priced options include Dexter Fowler and Alex Gordon. Any team that missed out on Heyward including the St. Louis Cardinals, will be chasing both players. They can easily demand a contract near what Heyward got with the Chicago Cubs. Justin Upton and Denard Span along with Will Venable remain the other options worth taking a look at. The Mets need someone and now they need to decide how much money they are willing to spend.