No word on who in particular the Mets may be asking for in return, but it’s no secret they are hoping to flip one of their outfielders for a proven reliever.
Over the weekend, we learned that the Jays had not made any formal offer to Jose Bautista other than the one year $17.2 million qualifying offer. It could be that a one year option like Bruce or Granderson might be more appealing and less of a risk than to give Bautista the four year deal he is reportedly seeking.
Another team that could turn to the Mets for some corner outfield help is the Baltimore Orioles, who recently pulled their offer to Mark Trumbo. So far, I haven’t heard any buzz connecting the two teams, but I suspect that could change soon.
It’s really been a very unorthodox offseason for free agent outfielders and as December draws to a close there is still a huge glut of unsigned players including Trumbo, Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders, and Chris Carter.
On Monday night, Ken Rosenthal got the masses excited when he reported that the Mets were exploring a trade for a center fielder. If that’s true, then the Mets would need to complete three different trades as December turns into January. Sounds a little far-fetched if you ask me.
Given what the Washington Nationals gave up for Adam Eaton, I can’t even imagine what the Pirates would want for McCutchen. During the Winter Meetings, I heard they wanted Michael Conforto plus either Steven Matz ior Amed Rosario. That was before Eaton set the bar a mile high.
To add to that, it was right after those Winter Meetings that the Mets essentially told all teams that Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario were off limits. Short of including one of them, I can’t see how the Mets can pry McCutchen away without a huge haul of lesser upside players. Think Robert Gsellman, Dominic Smith, Gavin Cecchini and probably another piece too.
McCutchen, a former MVP, batted only .256 last season with 24 home runs, 79 RBI, a .766 OPS and 103 OPS+ in 675 plate appearances. He’s also been in a three year defensive decline in center field, so much so it may be time to put him in left or right.
Some might call last season’s downturn a fluke, but what if it wasn’t? How much are you willing to give up for McCutchen to find out?
Honestly, I don’t know if all of this is really fresh news, or if Rosenthal and Morosi are simply rehashing rumors from three weeks ago. Just hours before all this ruckus, Mets beat writers were reporting that all was quiet in Mets Land and that it would probably stay that way into January.
We’ll continue to monitor things and pass along any pertinent news that comes our way.