5 Potential New York Mets Free-Agent Targets and Their Chances of Being Signed
Now that the hot stove season is underway in major-league baseball, it's time to take a look at some of the potential free agents the New York Mets might sign.
It's imperative that New York is aggressive in free agency. Mets fans are tired of 74-88 campaigns and tired of the Yankees always being the elite team in the Big Apple.
Now is the time for general manager Sandy Alderson to put his stamp on this club and make the Mets competitive again.
Let's take a look at five free agents the Mets should look into signing along with the odds that each particular player will ink a contract with New York.
May I have the envelope please....
Shin-Soo Choo, Outfielder
Man, could the Mets use the Pusan, South Korea native in their outfield.
Sure, the 31-year-old Choo batted just .215 against southpaws last season, but most of his other numbers really sparkle. His .423 OBP ranked second in the National League. He also belted 21 home runs and added 54 RBI.
While his RBI total was a little disappointing, he added 107 runs scored, good for second in the NL, and 112 walks, which also ranked him second in the Senior Circuit. He also hit .285 overall and swiped 20 bases.
Choo would fit perfectly at the top of New York's lineup for 2014. He is a fine defensive outfielder and would make an excellent left fielder. Sure, he'd need to improve his splits against lefties, but he is a .243 career hitter against southpaws, so last season appears to be more of the exception than the rule.
The Mets need to be aggressive and sign Choo, who is still in his prime.
Bronson Arroyo, SP
Bronson Arroyo is exactly what Mets need right now: an innings-eater that can still give you fine production when he starts on the mound.
The high-kicking right-hander is the only pitcher in baseball to make at least 32 starts in every year from 2005-13. That kind of durability can't be undersold.
Sure, he'll be 37 years old next February, but New York can probably secure him with a two-year, $22 million deal, or something similar to that.
In 2013, the 14-year veteran authored a 14-12 ledger with a 3.79 ERA and 1.153 WHIP last season for the Reds. He also owns a 138-127 career record in the Bigs.
Arroyo would fit nicely in the No. 3 slot in New York's starting rotation, behind Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese. His durability and ability to pitch deep into games would also help preserve the Mets' bullpen as well.
Curtis Granderson, Outfielder
The amiable outfielder had an injury-plagued campaign in 2013, as he suffered through two stints on the disabled list due to a broken forearm and finger, respectively. Those injuries limited the southpaw slugger to just 61 games with the Bronx Bombers.
The 32-year-old Granderson never got untracked last season, but he has a full winter to completely recover from his injuries and is still in the latter stages of his prime.
Prior to his lost 2013 season, the "Grandy Man" slugged 84 home runs in two seasons and knocked in over 100 runs each year. The Mets desperately need more power in their lineup and the Blue Island, Ill. native can move into the cleanup hole and protect David Wright accordingly.
Not all of Granderson's 43 homers in 2012 were a result of the short porch in right at Yankee Stadium; Granderson belted 17 round-trippers in 81 road contests that season as well.
The Mets should be able to sign him to a three-year pact in the $45-50 million range.
Stephen Drew, SS
After the Ruben Tejada disaster last season, the Mets could really use a steady, reliable shortstop.
That's why they should turn to the 30-year-old Drew, who just earned a World Series championship with the Boston Red Sox.
The Hahira, Ga. native is an excellent fielding shortstop—he committed just eight errors in 124 games with the Red Sox last season and ranked second in the American League in fielding percentage (.984).
In addition to that, Drew hit .253 with 17 HR and 53 RBI for Boston last season and also stole six bases without being caught.
He's a true pro and would bring a winning pedigree to New York's clubhouse. The Mets should get stiff competition for his services, however, so they would need to overspend to get him.
It would be worth it though.
Robinson Cano, 2B
Ah, Robinson Cano.
The crown jewel of all of the free agents is a huge long shot to join the Mets. He'll command close to $200 million, and the Mets simply do not want to spend that kind of money.
While he'd make a great fit with New York (or any team for that matter), his price tag is simply too exorbitant. That being said, it is still nice to dream.
The 31-year-old Cano is simply the best second baseman in baseball. He is very durable, plays outstanding defense and owns a career .309 batting average. He has driven in 100 or more runs three times in his career and has averaged 28 home runs per season over the last five years.
Cano would be the No. 3 hitter or the cleanup-hitter in the Mets lineup, but the odds are overwhelming that he'll sign again with the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees can't afford losing him to their cross-town rivals can they?
No way. However, what a splash the Mets would make if they were able to pry Cano away.
It would be a miracle if it happened, though.
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