Hairston Among Seven Mets Who Became Free Agents Today

Last night when the clock struck midnight, the following players became free agents and will most likely not be back. They include Scott Hairston, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno, Kelly Shoppach, Tim Byrdak and Chris Young.

Yesterday, a club source told Mike Puma of the NY Post that Hairston was the one free agent the Mets most want to keep, but that the veteran outfielder is coming off a career season (20 homers and 57 RBIs) and figures to command a huge raise from the $1.1 million he received in 2012.

With the Mets inclined to keep payroll around $100 million for 2013, they have little wiggle room and no more than $10 million, if that to add new players.

Puma says that the team is still focused on negotiating contract extensions for David Wright and R.A. Dickey, but yesterday several reports said that those talks have stalled.

The tough part about losing Hairston is that he was the team’s top producer in an outfield that was the least productive in the major leagues last season. They were already woeful with Hairston and it would be hard to imagine losing over one third of what little production they already had.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.