The Mets are kicking the tires on free-agent OF Cody Ross, according to Mike Puma in the New York Post.
The Mets have interest in free-agents Ryan Ludwick, Nate Schierholtz and Mark Reynolds, all of whom recently signed new contracts with other teams.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Ross had a very similar year to Ludwick (who just signed a two-year, $16 million deal), so I wonder if the Mets can sign Ross for something similar. He had reportedly been seeking a three-year contract for around the same money, but that might have changed now that Ludwick signed for less.
Previous updates and information on Cody Ross...
Stats: Ross, who will be 32 on Opening Day, hit .267 with a .326 OBP, 22 home runs and 81 RBI with 129 strikeouts in 476 at-bats this past season with Red Sox.
Contract: Ross just completed a one-year, $3 million contract he signed with Boston before the 2012 season.
Dec. 3: The Giants and Phillies considered signing Cody Ross during the Winter Meetings (FOX Sports)
Dec. 2: The Mets are expected to at least consider free agent OF Cody Ross during the Winter Meetings this week, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Nov. 15: Cody Ross is getting serious interest from the Phillies, Mariners, Red Sox and Tigers, according to Jim Bowden on Twitter.
Nov. 15: Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says free-agent OF Cody Ross is seeking at-least a three year deal in the range of $21-25 million.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
Here’s what I learned this week, after talking to lots of people around the Mets and around baseball…
The Mets would like to trade R.A. Dickey or Jon Niese for a young, promising, impact bat to put in the outfield; they’d also like to trade minor leaguers for a young, right-handed hitting catcher with power; and they’d like to sign a veteran, reliable, free agent outfielder to a short-term contract.
According to people familiar with the situation, Sandy Alderson will move Niese to get the young hitter, but he would prefer to move Dickey instead. In either case, and this is important, if a logical, impact trade doesn’t present itself, Alderson is more than willing to give Dickey a two-year extension, keep Niese and move forward in just the free agent market.
Based on what I’m hearing, I’d say Alderson can spend close to $15 million on new acquisitions, so the above alternatives seem totally feasible. However, they’re strictly a short-term, back-up plan. I believe Alderson would much rather trade for talent with bigger upside that can be with the organization for years to come.
The Rangers, Blue Jays and Royals seem to be Alderson’s best options for that type of young hitter.
The Rangers prefer Dickey. And, according to John Harper of the Daily News, they will trade top hitting prospect Mike Olt to get him, but only if they first lose out on free-agent Zack Greinke.
The Royals and Blue Jays are more interested in Niese, but they have more options and are offering more complicated trades.
Simply put, my best guess is that if Greinke signs with the Dodgers, there is a decent chance Dickey gets sent to Texas for a deal including Olt. However, if Greinke signs in Texas, I’d bet Dickey and Niese stay put, and Alderson instead makes short-term bets in the free agent market.
The Rangers continue to pursue a trade for Justin Upton in a possible blockbuster deal, which could signal their confidence in signing Zack Greinke (FOX Sports).
Josh Hamilton‘s first choice is to remain in Texas (ESPN), but the Mariners appear closer to a deal(Seattle Times).
The Brewers are listening to offers for Corey Hart, but he has a no-trade clause that includes 15 teams, plus he wants his Spring Training to be in Arizona(CBS Sports).
The Indians and Mariners are the primary suitors for Nick Swisher (CBS Sports).
Teams continue to ask the Rockies about Dexter Fowler and Michael Cuddyer (Denver Post).
The Red Sox expect to have Jacoby Ellsbury in their outfield in 2013 (WEEI), but have not been in contact with the agents for Cody Ross since they signed Shane Victorino (Boston Herald).
Despite reports last night that the Reds and Ryan Ludwick were close to a deal, they “are still a little ways apart.” (MLB.com)
Seattle is a likely landing spot for Josh Hamilton, if he doesn’t re-sign with Texas (ESPN Boston). However, he did meet with Boston yesterday (FOX Sports).
The Yankees met with the agents for Mark Reynolds, who is looking for a salary similar to the $7.5 million he earned in 2012 (MLB.com).
The Mariners, Phillies and Rangers have all expressed interest in Raul Ibanez (FOX Sports).
Michael Baron, Contributor
Last night, it was reported the Reds were close to a two-year contract with Ludwick, although the Reds have yet to wrap that up with him. Ross had a very similar year to Ludwick in 2012, and so I wonder if the Mets can sign Ross to a similar deal. He had reportedly been seeking a three-year contract for around the same money, but that could change if Ludwick signs for two years.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports says the Mets don’t want to offer Scott Hairston more than a two-year contract.
Dec. 5, 4:33 pm: SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt says while the Mets are reluctant to give Hairston a two-year deal, he believes a two-year, $9 million contract would be acceptable to Hairston.
Burkhardt says getting a two-year contract is important to Hairston.
Dec. 5, 2:27 pm: If the Mets sign Hairston, Mike Puma of the New York Post says they might not be able to add other free agents this winter.
Yesterday, Sandy Alderson said he met with Scott Hairston’s agent.
Alderson said it is possible he could give a two-year deal to a free-agent outfielder, but it is something he would want to be very careful about.
This week, the Tigers, Yankees, Giants, Cardinals and Indians have all reportedly shown interest in Hairston, who is said to be seeking a multi-year contract.
Michael Baron, ContributorDec. 3, 4:50 pm:
In an ideal world, Hairston is probably a platoon player, and a very solid fourth outfielder. Other teams are reportedly interested in him in that capactity as well. I’d like to see Hairston back, but it remains to be seen if he and the Mets will eventually agree to a new deal. At the end of last season, Sandy Alderson said Hairston’s recent production has earned him a multi-year deal (and probably a raise) for his next contract, which might have put him out of the Mets range at that time. But now that they’ve achieved some financial flexibility by cutting Bay, Alderson has said it’s possible Hairston could be brought back.
The Diamondbacks only want to move Justin Upton to Texas if it gets them either Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar (Yahoo! Sports). The Rangers still think they can land Upton, but they are not close to getting him (FOX Sports).
The Brewers have considered dealing Corey Hart so they can free up money to acquire pitching (CBS Sports).
The Indians have expressed interest in Nick Swisher (Cleveland Plain Dealer).
Nate Schierholtz turned down an offer from the Orioles today (Baltimore Sun).
Things are quiet on the trade front with the Royals (Kansas City Star).
The Rangers are working hard to acquire Justin Upton (CBS Sports), potentially in a four-team deal.
Shin-Soo Choo is still available, and the Indians are looking for long-term assets in return (CBS Sports).
The Blue Jays have made newly-acquired Emilio Bonifacio available (Cincinnati Enquirer).
Yesterday, it was reported Jason Bay was close to a deal with the Mariners, but the Indians are now the favorites to sign him (CBS Sports). Bay is going to get a guaranteed deal (CBS Sports).
Scott Hairston is currently out of the Giants price range (Comcast Sportsnet).
Michael Bourn‘s market includes the Mariners, Phillies and Rangers (CBS Sports).
The Red Sox are likely out on Nick Swisher and Cody Ross, unless they deal Jacoby Ellsbury (CBS Sports).
To read about Greinke’s and Upton’s impact on what the Mets may be trying to do, read Matthew Cerrone’s post on MetsBlog from earlier today.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said on SiriusXM Radio the Red Sox are trying to move Jacoby Ellsbury, and are seeking either a shortstop or a starting pitcher in return.
Michael Baron, Contributor
As Cafardo said on his spot on MLB Radio, it’s going to be difficult for Boston to get what they want for Ellsbury because he is represented by Scott Boras, and so it’s all but certain he will go to free agency next Winter. His injuries and inconsistencies play a role as well. But I wonder if that could actually lower his trade value to a point where it wouldn’t
cost a guy like R.A. Dickey
or Jon Niese
. I still don’t know if there’s a match at that point considering other teams might have more appealing secondary options than the Mets do. But if Boston is really motivated to move Ellsbury (as opposed to waiting for the trade deadline) and they are unable to sign anyone on the free agent market, it could be worth watching.