NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – Sandy Alderson was in the lobby at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center and it seemed a burden was lifted off his back. One significant move last week made it easier to concentrate on other needs for the New York Mets when outfielder Yoenis Cespedes re-signed a four-year deal.
And with Cespedes returning to a crowded Mets outfield, it provides leverage to wheel and deal. So much a part of this annual meeting of baseball minds of the Winter Meetings is looking for the needs and parting with some of the goods.
This time the Mets have the goods to possibly get another arm or two in the bullpen. And with the imminent suspension of closer Jeurys Familia, the Mets will be in need for that arm to go along with Addison Reed.
Rumorville is a part of these meetings and the Mets on Sunday were a topic of speculation with an excess of outfielders, Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce in particular who could be headed elsewhere by the close of these meetings on Thursday.
Alderson, as is the case with every GM at these meetings would not commit. But the speculation is leaning towards Bruce going somewhere. Granderson staying seems to be the logical move that will get the Mets some value for the bullpen.
Again, it is a matter of dollars and sense in this world of baseball economics. Alderson said, “The nice thing is we’ve filled a couple of our holes. We don’t have a huge amount to do.”
But, he does have things to do at these meetings. The bullpen is one priority and filling in the bench is another.
“The next three days,” Alderson said. “We’ll see where we go.” Of course the Mets could also add more depth in the pen by dealing one of their infielders. Wilmer Flores has been a name teams are discussing and he could be expendable with Jose Reyes returning, the emergence of TJ Rivera, and Neil Walker re-signed.
If the bullpen arm or two does not materialize, Alderson offered some speculation that righthander Zack Wheeler, assuming his recovery from Tommy John Surgery is a go, could go to the pen before being put in a starting role.
Granderson, with a year remaining on his four-year contract is the likely outfielder that will start in right field Opening Day. Alderson alluded to his production and how he has fit in well over the past three seasons.
But these are the Winter Meetings and one never knows. Even some of the best at this have become accustomed to seeing the unexpected.
However, the next few days the Mets and their GM know their needs. And that won’t be adding free agent contracts of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, or closers Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon,
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