(It Looks Like Yoenis Cespedes Played His Last Game As A Met. Photo: Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The theme for the New York Mets this week in Nashville is waiting for Ben, as in Zobrist, whom the Amazin’s are hoping will take their offer to be their new second baseman/super utility player.
“Our feeling is it’s not going to be weeks. Could it get done by the end of these meetings?” said assistant general manager John Ricco to reporters in Nashville. “I think yes. But, again, that’s really in his hands, and I don’t want to speak for him. We think it might happen here.”
If Zobrist comes to Queens, then great, the Mets will look for an inexpensive option for the lefthanded part of the centerfield platoon and try to fill out the bullpen and bench, but he the former Royal goes elsewhere then it’s onto Plan B.
The problem is the Mets don’t really have a Plan B right now.
“I’m not sure after Zobrist which direction we would go,” Ricco said. “We’ve met with Ben. It’s pretty obvious we think he’s a fit. After that, some of it may depend on timing and who is still available. Some of it may depend on discussions we have here on whether we can fill certain positions via trade, or easier via trade, or not.”
One option could be bringing back Daniel Murphy, but the Mets don’t want to get into a bidding war for him and Ricco expects there to be “a lot of suitors.”
Right now, Plan B doesn’t include Yoenis Cespedes, who Ricco thinks would be out of the Mets price range.
“It’s unlikely right now that he ends up a Met,” Ricco said to reporters at the winter meetings. “I think that’s fair to say. I think we will end up meeting with his agent. Right now, I still think he’s looking at a deal that would be north of what we would consider.”
Even though the Mets are talking to Cespedes’s representatives, it may be for other players not just the Mets key acquisition at the deadline last year.
“Whether we have a specific meeting to talk about Cespedes, I’m not sure,” Ricco said. “They have other players. I imagine we’ll meet with them, and as part of that conversation his name will come up. I think right now, in talking with them, and getting feedback from Sandy, I would view it as pretty unlikely that we do anything with him. But you never know how the market is going to develop. So I wouldn’t rule it out completely.”
One Met free agent, the team will be willing to bring back is righthander Bartolo Colon, who would fit into a long man role and spot starter.
“I think the door is still open with him,” Ricco said to reporters. “And I think we’ll meet with his guys out here. I can see a fit there. His versatility and the success he had in the playoffs in that role, and where he is in his career, I think he could fit us on a number of levels. And, everything I’ve heard, he would be open to that type of role.”