With two key areas of need for the Mets, they will have plenty of competition for free agents this offseason according to ESPN New York’s Mark Simon.
At shortstop, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics will both also be in the market after Derek Jeter‘s retirement, and Jed Lowrie reaching free agency. On the top of their list could be Hanley Ramirez, although ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand thinks they will likely re-sign Stephen Drew on a buy-low deal. “…that’s good news for the Mets if they want to be in the hunt for Hanley Ramirez, Asdrubal Cabrera or Jed Lowrie” Simon said.
Obviously the Mets will have the edge over the Yankees if it comes to trading for a shortstop with their incredibly deep farm system. Aside from lefty Dellin Betances, the Yankees have little to offer in a trade.
After trading prospect Addison Russell in the Jeff Samardzija trade and with Lowrie’s free agency looming, the A’s will have to make a move, but Billy Beane‘s buy low strategy should keep them out of the way on guys like Ramirez and Lowrie. Finally, the Dodgers will be looking to replace Ramirez but if their new General Manager Andrew Friedman wants to lower the payroll, they might have to buy low on someone.
Another need for the Mets is a power hitter. As Simon points out, the Mariners, Reds, Tigers and White Sox will all be in the market for someone to drive in runs. The Mariners need a guy to hit with Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager and the White Sox need the same with the departures of Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alejandro De Aza.
The Tigers and Reds will be in slightly different situations. Both are coming off disappointing seasons. The Reds had their worst season since 2008 while the Tigers have regressed from their American League Championship Series and World Series appearances in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This year they were bounced in the Division Series.
Unlike the Reds who will have to spend on guys like Johnny Cueto, the Tigers will have a ton of money coming off the books with Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter. “Given owner Mike Ilitch’s seemingly bottomless pockets and general manager Dave Dombrowski’s history of spending, we’d expect the Tigers to go after the biggest names and also prioritize re-signing David Price and adding to their bullpen. But if a big bat became available, we’d expect them to pursue it” Simon said.