Buster Olney, in his latest column for ESPN Insider, takes a look at what free agents are still available out there including some low cost names that can plug a hole or round out some rosters.
Right now you still have Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Rafael Soriano and Kyle Lohse as the top names out there, but there’s still some quality in the second and third tiers of free agents remaining, he says. Top among those players is Scott Hairston.
Scott Hairston: The Yankees are desperate for right-handed hitting and there could be no better second-tier fit than Hairston, who does damage against left-handed pitching; last season, he posted a .550 slugging average against lefties. For his career, he’s got a .500 slugging percentage against lefties. He’d be a perfect complement to the very left-handed Yankees’ outfield (Ichiro Suzuki, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson), and serve time at DH.
But he might be too expensive for New York in a winter in which they have reduced payroll. The 32-year-old Hairston made $1.1 million for the Mets last year and hit 20 homers, and he could be looking for something much better than that; Jonny Gomes, a similar player, got a two-year, $10 million deal from Boston.
Hairston had been talking with the Cardinals, writes Adam Rubin, before they signed Ty Wigginton.
Another outfielder still available and that has been linked to the Mets is Grady Sizemore about who he writes:
Grady Sizemore: Injuries have derailed him over the past four seasons, limiting him to 210 games; he didn’t play at all in 2012. Now he has become an attractive buy-very-low free agent, because everybody still remembers the athleticism, the speed, the power. The Mets are reportedly one of the teams interested in signing him; Tampa Bay might be a very good fit.
These are probably the two best and most affordable options for the Mets as I do see Cody Ross being out of the team’s price range, and they most certainly wont give up their first round pick to sign Michael Bourn.