According to MLB Trade Rumors’s free agent tracker there are currently fifteen outfielders still available on the free agent market for the Mets to potentially bring in.
If we are to go by the tweet below by Adam Rubin, and Cody Ross is off the market then that number immediately drops to fourteen and we can make that number continually shrink.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) January 23, 2012
If it is a lefty the Mets seek only ten of the fourteen left are either left-handed or switch hitters.
We can immediately drop that number to nine going 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 under $1 million dollars.
Despite a down year, Raul Ibanez still hit twenty homeruns and is likely to get a deal larger than $1 million from an American League team looking for a veteran DH type, J.D. Drew would probably retire before taking a deal worth less than a million, and Juan Pierre and Kosuke Fukudome will likely cost more than a million if/when they sign. Then there is Milton Bradley who is coming off $10 million dollars per year contract, but there is a decent chance his career could be done.
We are down to just three options left (ranked in no particular order).
1. Rick Ankiel – Ankiel will never hit for a high average due to his huge strikeout problem, but walks at a decent clip (7.9%) 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 due for a salary cut.
2. Corey Patterson – Patterson has never lived up to the hype he had as a prospect, but he has managed to hold a solid major league career and always manages to find himself on a roster. Because he is likely to receive a minor league deal he actually offers some potential upside for the Mets to sign. Definitely a guy I would keep my eye on if I were the Mets.
3. Jay Gibbons – If he 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. Doesn’t offer the same kind of defensive versatility as Ankiel or Patterson.
Not a terrific group of guys, but I don’t think anyone is expecting any different from the Mets right now.