MMO will be looking at multiple bargain options that are still available for the Mets this offseason. With Sandy Alderson reportedly having about $10 million left to spend, the Mets best chance to fill holes will be shopping at the dollar store.
Earlier this offseason, Mets general manager John Ricco let on that the team would be “big players” this offseason, as they looked to fill holes around the diamond.
Fast forward a month and a half later and things have taken a complete 180, in typical Mets fashion. What was once reported that general manager Sandy Alderson would have somewhere between $30-40 million to spend is no longer. Instead, Alderson will have a fraction of that to work with, with the only signing he’s made this offseason being reliever Anthony Swarzak on a two-year, $14 million deal.
Alderson is going to have to get crafty with his limited funds. On Tuesday, my colleague Josh Finkelstein highlighted veteran Brandon Phillips as a bargain option for second base. On Wednesday, Rob Piersall wrote about Tim Lincecum as a dollar store starting pitcher option and yesterday I touched on former Met Oliver Perez being a second LOOGY option.
Sandy Alderson has made it pretty clear that he wants someone that can serve as insurance at first base and right field all-in-one with Michael Conforto coming off surgery and Dominic Smith unproven at the major league level.
That need combined with the unlikelihood the Mets spend big on this perceived need brings be to Daniel Nava. The veteran switch-hitter slashed .301/.393/.421 with eight doubles, four home runs and 21 RBI in 214 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2017.
Nava also posted a 1.2 WAR in 2017, his highest since his career-high 3.4 WAR with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. The 34-year-old Nava also has the versatility the Mets seek with experience in right field, left field and first base. He’s been mostly solid defensively with 5 DRS in LF, 12 DRS in RF and -2 DRS at first during his career.
Nava has been better during his entire seven-year career against right-handed pitching and that was still the case in 2017 with a .897 OPS against righties and .581 vs lefties.
The former Santa Clara University equipment manager would give the Mets needed depth at both corner outfield spots (currently four OF on 40-man roster) and another option to play some first base if Dominic Smith struggles in his sophomore campaign. He will also come cheaply and on a one-year deal, two key factors when trying to target players for the Mets to acquire.