Rubin says their second priority will be finding a right-handed hitting catcher. The Mets intend to wait on improving the bullpen and will search for bargains since they overspent on Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez last offseason.
Nov. 27, 8:26 pm: In a separate report for ESPN New York, Rubin says the Mets do not expect to be active in the trade market next week.
Rather, the Mets will look to sign two free agent, right-handed hitting outfielders with hopes that at least one of the two can be a starter.
“Outfield is definitely the priority,” a team insider told Rubin. “I don’t think we’re going to go in thinking we’re going to bottom feed, at least at this point.”
According to Rubin, the Mets have not ruled out bringing back Scott Hairston, although he’s looking around and could become too expensive for them.
The Mets expect to go into the 2013 with their current group of starting pitchers unless one of the teams who doesn’t acquire RHP Zack Greinke decides to overpay for a starter, at which point the Mets could entertain making a deal.
In regards to acquiring a catcher, Rubin says the Mets are still considering re-signing Kelly Shoppach, as he’s “not totally off the table.”
Lastly, while the Mets have acknowledged they need to sign two relievers, they intend to wait out the reliever market with hopes “they hit a jackpot.”
Terry Collins told reporters late last season that he preferred to have a veteran left-handed relief option in the bullpen next season.
The Winter Meetings run from December 3 – 6 in Nashville, with the Rule 5 draft taking place at the conclusion of the meetings on December 6.
Michael Baron, Contributor3:34 pm: I said late in the season the Mets could consider going with some of the young, internal options for the bullpen next season, which could allow them to focus their investments on making necessary improvements in other areas of the roster. Between Josh Edgin, Robert Carson, Bobby Parnell, and Jeurys Familia, the Mets have arms in the bullpen now who, while they are all hard throwers and still very raw, performed well as a unit down the stretch. That’s not to say it’s the perfect solution and there won’t be struggles and growing pains, but there is clearly a high ceiling among these guys who could provide excellent value going forward (assuming one or more of them don’t get traded).