Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Andy Martino is reporting that the Mets will not be pursuing big ticket outfielders on the free agent market this winter. They'll instead look to the trade market to fill that hole.
Anyone who has watched the Mets this season is probably well aware of the team's need to improve the production they get from the outfield. Between Jason Bay, Lucas Duda, Andres Torres,, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter the Mets have combined for only 3.3 fWAR and a measly 1.0 rWAR to this point in the season. That's just not very good, so the outfield would seem an obvious area in which to target an upgrade for 2013.
Andy Martino tells us today that any upgrade to the outfield won't be coming from one of the bigger name free agents on the market. According to Martino, the Mets will be working with only a slight increase in payroll from 2012, and that the front office will not offer a free agent outfielder even a two year contract. Looking over the expected 2013 free agent market doesn't make that seem like such an awful idea, as while there is some quality there, there isn't much depth behind the top outfielders on the market.
Martino's sources indicated that the Mets could still pursue an outfielder via trade, and I'd have to think that the Mets will be watching the waiver wire in addition to keeping an eye on non-tender candidates as well. While that probably won't make most fans happy, it shouldn't be too difficult to upgrade the current unit with only lower profile moves.