As Sandy Alderson and the Mets continue to wait and see how cheaply they can sign free agents, other teams are signing players at a brisk pace. I understand they couldn’t realistically be buyers for Cliff Lee or Carl Crawford, and without a doubt the Mets were right not to even come close to offering Jason Werth the kind of contract he signed with the Nationals. I also understand that the Wilpons refuse to pay a luxury tax and that Alderson does not like to spend a lot of money on free agents or give them long term deals that will expire just when they are out of their primes. He’s the General Manager and that’s his call. However there have been some cheap signings for serviceable players this off season.
Last week the Nationals signed outfielder Rick Ankiel for just $1.5 million. He can earn another $1.25 million in performance bonuses. Not a bad contract in a rebuilding year for a team. Of course, signing Ankiel is not going to win any championships that’s for sure, but it would have given us some depth in the outfield which the Mets do need as Ankiel does play all three outfield positions. Of course, he also has trouble staying healthy, but you can say the same thing about Beltran and Pagan. Besides providing depth in the outfield, signing Ankiel could help the Mets make a trade.
The rumor for months have been that the Tampa Bay Rays will be looking to trade starting pitcher Matt Garza this off season. Starting pitching is something the Mets really need right now. The Rays outfield lost a great player in Carl Crawford when he signed with Boston. They’re going to need to fill that hole. If the Mets trade for Garza you have to believe that the Rays are going to want Pagan as part of the deal. While Crawford is a better player than Pagan, he would certainly fit in rather nicely there and the price is right. I have been a Pagan fan for awhile, but realistically we’d have to part with something of value to complete a deal for Garza. I doubt the Rays are going to want Beltran with his big contract and his bad knees. They certainly are not going to want to trade for Jason Bay and that bad contract either. Pagan is the obvious choice. Sad to say because I really do like Pagan, but if he nets the Mets Garza then he has to go to Tampa.
Unfortunately, Ankiel is gone the Mets outfield depth is still limited. Duda is not ready to be an everyday outfielder, and his defense is still somewhat questionable. F-Mart cannot stay healthy and has not produced anyway when he was promoted to the majors suggesting even more time in the minors.
I understand this is a rebuilding year, but couldn’t they have made some attempt to sign a player like Ankiel for one year and under $2 million guaranteed?
It could have enabled the team to have more depth and give them more options in trying to acquire a starting pitcher via a trade.