Just one day after the Mets' season ended, the hot stove is already revving up. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports that the Mets have scouts in the Dominican Republic to watch Jose Abreu, and that they plan to scout Masahiro Tanaka, a Japanese starter, as well.
Abreu, a 26-year-old first baseman, has become a hot topic as of late, especially after he defected from Cuba in August. Abreu hit over 30 homers in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 for Cienfuegos in the Cuban National League.
Ben Badler of Baseball America describes Abreu as a "righthanded hitter with plus-plus raw power who can hit soft stuff in the strike zone" but also someone who chases breaking balls out of the strike zone. Badler did not put the Mets as one of the five teams most likely to go after Abreu.
Tanaka, 25, posted a 1.24 ERA in 181 innings for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles this year, with 155 strikeouts and 27 walks. For his Japanese League career, he has a 2.32 ERA with 1210 strikeouts and 270 walks in 1284.1 innings. However, as DiComo pointed out, Sandy Alderson has said that the team will not invest big money into a starting pitcher, which would likely preclude the Mets from making any serious attempt at Tanaka,