With the news coming out over the weekend that the Detroit Tigers do not intend on bringing back slugger, Aubrey Huff, next season; the Mets now have another potential candidate to play first base next season.
The soon-to-be 33 year-old first base seems like a perfect fit to bridge the gap between the incumbent, Daniel Murphy, and youngster, Ike Davis.
Last season, Huff was rumored to be linked to the Mets a number of times, however once the team fell out of contention he was shipped to Detroit.
Upon joining the Tigers mid-season, Huff’s numbers took a nose dive. In 106 at-bats, Huff hit only two home runs and compiled a .186 batting average. By the season’s end, Huff’s final line consisted of a .241 average, 15 home runs and 85 RBI’s.
The most significant drop in production came by way of batting average, which was nearly 40 points down from his career number (.282).
As a matter of fact, the last time Huff hit in the .240’s was back in 2001 during his second season in the big leagues with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Still though, it is hard to ignore the fact that Huff has hit over 30 home runs and driven in more than 100 RBI’s on numerous occasions.
Most recently was back in 2008, when he clubbed 32 homers and drove in 108 runs.
If the Mets were to add another slugger into the lineup, along with Huff, they would have quite an imposing lineup.
A lineup card consisting of (Reyes, Castillo, Beltran, Wright, (Holliday/Bay/etc.), Huff, Francoeur, Santos, Pitcher) looks very appealing and would certainly help improve the team’s chances of competing with the likes of the Phillies next season.
Despite the fact that Huff is not a golden glove first basemen, he is rather defensively sound at the position and would almost certainly be an upgrade over Murphy.
One concern I do have about Huff is the fact that he has had a couple of questionable moments off the field, to say the least, which weren’t publicized much due to the fact that he was playing for a small market team, the Orioles.
Unfortunately, in the City That Never Sleeps, these types of things wouldn’t be given a free pass by the media.
I will not go into great detail about what these things were because they are not appropriate for this site, but if you run a Google search of “Aubrey Huff Deadspin” you’ll see what I’m referring to.
In the end though, I believe the key to whether or not to pursue Huff is money. The fact that the slugger is coming off of a down year can work in the Mets favor because he will probably be in a line for a smaller salary then what he is currently being paid.
However, the recent lack of production also raises concerns over whether or not Huff can turn things around next year.
If Huff could be had for a one year deal worth four million dollars or so, then the Mets should at least consider taking a closer look at him.
While he is certainly not the long term fixture for the position, my guess is he could provide a good amount of pop in the Mets lineup, which is something the team was lacking greatly in 2009.