MLB Free Agency Rumors: New York Mets Considering Ryan Theriot

Frank Gray@https://twitter.com/#!/nyfaninsjerseyCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2011

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the New York Mets are "looking at" free agent Ryan Theriot as a possible option to replace Jose Reyes at shortstop.

Theriot is one of the 10 players I listed in an article last week.

I mentioned him at No. 3 among the players still available that would come with a lower price tag. As I wrote before, this move makes sense for a variety of reasons. Should Ruben Tejada not be the answer at shortstop, they will need a backup plan.

Theriot has played 530 of his 770 games at the shortstop position. He is versatile, though. If this team gets bitten once again by that cursed injury bug, Theriot can play multiple spots. He is an experienced middle infielder.

He has manned second base before (233 times to be exact), he has played third base and both corner outfield spots, too. That's flexibility!

One other plus is that the Mets would obtain a playoff-seasoned veteran. Theriot is someone that has been in and won the World Series as recently as this past season.

He is a consistent hitter. He's had at least 120 hits in every season since he began playing 100 or more games a year.

All of this, combined with a relatively inexpensive contract ($3 million last season that looks to be far less this season), and the Mets have an option they have to jump in on. If these reports are true, the Mets are being frugal and smart at the same time.

They do have competition, though. The Braves and the Rays are both named in that Heyman rumor. This could drive the price up just a bit, but he still should not earn as much as he did last year.

Either way, the Mets need to be aggressive in this matter. He is a player they need, and the younger players would benefit from his presence. 

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