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Mets reassessing outfield trade market

A slow free agent market has affected the team’s ability to make a trade, and may alter their offseason plans.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

General manager Sandy Alderson met with members of the media today, and shed some light on the team’s plans for the rest of the offseason and spring training. Most notably, Alderson revealed that the team is “reassessing” their options in trading an outfielder, including doing nothing.

The free agent market for corner outfielders has been “slow to nonexistent” according to Alderson, so that has perhaps affected their ability to move one or more of their corner outfield bats. He also admitted that it would be difficult to trade Curtis Granderson because he can play center field, and they are less confident in Michael Conforto’s ability to play there. That said, he called the current payroll situation “tolerable,” and claimed that keeping Granderson’s and Jay Bruce’s contracts won’t necessarily prevent the Mets from adding more players through free agency. But Alderson doesn’t believe the team will add another position player this offseason unless it’s on a minor league deal.

This is a slight contrast to what Alderson said earlier this offseason, in which he admitted payroll was “an issue” and hinted that the Mets needed to trade one of their highly priced outfield bats and preferred to do so before adding more to the payroll. But the market has apparently changed Alderson’s stance on the matter, and it will be interesting to see how the team operates from here.

In addition, Alderson went into some other topics, disputing Wally Backman’s allegations that the GM is blackballing him, and mentioned that the team is planning to be without closer Jeurys Familia for some time, but they are unsure how long he could be suspended for or when any punishment would be handed down. At the same time, he is confident in the right-handed relief options the Mets have, citing Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Gabriel Ynoa, and Rafael Montero as possible options.

The Mets also have not had extension talks with any of their young pitchers, Alderson said. He noted that T.J. Rivera could see some exposure in the outfield, and Conforto could be given some time at first base in spring training as well. Tim Tebow may also see some Grapefruit League action, even though he was not invited to MLB camp.