Buzz: Teams open to trading OF, Mets still looking for a match

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Mets are still actively exploring trades for an outfielder, more than one baseball insider has said to me over the last week.

I’m not sure if the two sides have talked of late, but people say to keep an eye on the A’s and Mariners, since they’re interested moving extra outfielders to free up spots on their roster.

Blue Mets hat B&W backgroundFor what it’s worth, former Mets GM Joe McIlvaine was reportedly at yesterday’s Mets-Braves game. I have no idea why he was there, but he is a special assistant to the Mariners.

There are no shortage of players on the Mariners who might fit in with the Mets fractured outfield, as Vinny, Brian, Baron and I discussed last night. However, I recall Chone Figgins (before he landed in Miami) and Franklin Gutierrez being mentioned quite a bit at the start of the off-season, as the Mets looked for financial partner to off-set a deal for Jason Bay. Of course, Bay was eventually released and ended up in Seattle anyway, suggesting the two teams couldn’t find a fit for a trade. Gutierrez bats righty, hits lefties, he can leadoff and is due $7 million this season before being eligible to be bought out (for $500,000) in 2014.

Similarly, the Mets and A’s reportedly talked this winter about Coco Crisp, who is entering the final year of a two-year, $14 million contract. His deal also has a $7.5 million option for 2014 with a $1 million buyout. Oakland was reportedly looking to move an outfielder towards the end of the off-season, but no deal ever transpired.

I have no idea if a deal with these teams or any team is possible. But, I’m glad to hear the Mets are still digging. I can live with Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd and – let’s say – Franklin Gutierrez. It would not be the best outfield in baseball, and it still might be the worst. However, it would certainly be better than last year’s group and it would allow Kirk Nieuwenhuis time to heal and Matt dek Dekker time to develop.