As Major League Baseball’s general managers’ meetings wrap up today, Marc Carig of Newsday reports that the Mets have fielded trade offers for three of their left-handed hitting outfielders. Specifically, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, and Jay Bruce have drawn interest from other clubs.
It’s possible that all three players prove useful for the 2017 Mets in their quest for a World Series title, but it might be advantageous for the club to deal one of them in hopes of improving another area of the team. If New York finds a way to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes this offseason, there won’t be enough starting jobs in the outfield to give everyone a full-time role.
“I think people are aware that we are lefthanded,” said general manager Sandy Alderson, who refused to disclose specific names involved in early trade talks. “I wouldn’t be any more specific than that because we’ve had inquiries across the board. We have four or five guys in that category.”
Even if the Mets fail to bring back Cespedes, there is still a crowded outfield situation with three guys who would ideally be playing in left or right field next season. The club’s best defensive outfielder and one true center fielder, Juan Lagares, could be relegated to the bench as a defensive replacement or platoon bat.
While Granderson and Bruce are both working on the final year of their reasonable contracts, Conforto will be entering his third year in the big leagues and won’t be schedule to begin arbitration until 2019. Although he hit just .220/.310/.414 as a big leaguer in 2016, the Oregon State product should demand the most value as a trade chip because of his contract situation and the potential that he flashed in April of last year as well as down the stretch in 2015.
If the Mets do move one of their outfielders, they could look for a right-handed outfielder to help balance out the lineup, a third baseman to replace the oft-injured David Wright, a second baseman who is younger and less expensive than Neil Walker, or a catcher who has a steadier bat than Travis d’Arnaud, although we’re not giving up on the driver of the oppo taco truck just yet.