Michael Bourn is off to Cleveland, and the Mets' outfield is still the weakest part of the team. There's a chance that everything breaks right for the five-man combination of Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, Mike Baxter, and one of Andrew Brown or Marlon Byrd. There's also a chance that the outfield comes up short, lacking an everyday player at any one of its three positions.
The Mets didn't need to sign Bourn, especially at the years and dollars that were guaranteed to him by the Cleveland Indians, and they certainly don't have to rush to acquire another outfielder now that Bourn is off the table. But if the other three parts of the team — the rotation, bullpen, and infield — play as well as is expected, the Mets might find themselves wanting an outfielder sooner than the 2013-14 offseason.
Over the past few months, Steve Schrieber reviewed some speculative outfield trade targets for the Mets. The Oakland Athletics had a ton of outfielders a couple months ago, and that hasn't changed. It's hard to imagine Josh Reddick or Yoenis Cespedes could be had a reasonable price in a trade, but the A's do have a pair of center fielders in Coco Crisp and Chris Young. Crisp — who was arrested for driving under the influence two years ago — will earn $7 million this year and has an option for $7.5 million for 2014, while Young makes $8.5 million this year with an $11 million option for 2014. If the typically frugal A's decide they want to get rid of one of the two, the Mets might have a match.
As for the rest of the pack, the Angels' outfield is crowded, too, but they're not trading Mike Trout or Josh Hamilton. If the Mets want a truly glove-first center fielder, Peter Bourjos might appeal to them as Bourn Lite. If they're looking for an out-making power hitter, Mark Trumbo would be a better fit. Both players, though, are pretty one-dimensional.
The Diamondbacks jettisoned Justin Upton and Chris Young this winter, but they did bring in Cody Ross and relegate Gerardo Parra to the bench. Perhaps that's where Parra is best suited, but he might be an upgrade for the Mets come June or July.