New York Mets: Is Rick Ankiel an Option?

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New York Mets: Is Rick Ankiel an Option?
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According to MLB Trade Rumors' free-agent tracker, there are currently 15 outfielders still available on the free-agent market for the Mets to potentially bring in.

If Cody Ross is indeed not in the Mets' plans, as was projected in a tweet by ESPN's Adam Rubin, then that number immediately drops to 14.

If it is a lefty that the Mets are seeking, only 10 of the 14 remaining players on the list are either left-handed or switch-hitters.

We can immediately drop that number to nine under the assumption that Johnny Damon can no longer play the outfield.

Now, going back to Rubin's tweet, we can get rid of a few more if the Mets want to spend less than $1 million dollars.

Despite a down year, Raul Ibanez still hit 20 home runs and is likely to get a deal larger than $1 million from an American League team looking for a veteran DH-type. JD Drew would probably retire before taking a deal worth less than $1 million, and Juan Pierre and Kosuke Fukudome will likely cost more than that if/when they sign. Then there is Milton Bradley, who is coming off a deal worth $10 million dollars per year, but there is a decent chance his career could be done.

We are down to just three options left (ranked in no particular order).

Rick Ankiel

Ankiel will never hit for a high average due to his huge strikeout problem, but he walks at a decent clip (7.9 percent) and has some pop (.177 ISO). Where he does provide real value is in the field, where he can play all three positions with a canon-like arm. He earned $1.5 million last year but is likely due for a salary cut.

Corey Patterson

Patterson has never lived up to the hype he garnered as a prospect, but he has managed to have a solid major league career and always manages to find himself on a roster. Because he is likely to receive a minor league deal, Patterson actually offers some potential upside for the Mets to sign. He's definitely a guy for the Mets to keep their eye on.

Jay Gibbons

If Gibbons offers to play for free again, I think the Mets might take him up on his offer this time. Gibbons actually looked like he had something left in 2010, but 2011 was a different story. He doesn't offer the same kind of defensive versatility as Ankiel or Patterson.

Overall, it's not a terrific group of guys, but no one is expecting the Mets to sign a player that will make a huge impact at this point.

For more posts like this visit my blog The Gangs of Gotham. Follow me on twitter@NickPugs97.

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