Next Year’s Free Agent Outfielders are Weak

In his morning write-up for ESPN.com, Buster Olney says:

“As teams consider how to allocate their money, they’ll look at the upcoming free-agent classes, and although this year is considered relatively lackluster, next year’s might be even worse in terms of overall quality.”

To see a full list of players eligible to be free agents one year from now, read this page on MLB Trade Rumors.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

He’s right, the list is weak … especially in the outfield, where there is no ‘sure thing.’ This basically underscores the importance of trading for a young, legitimate, under-control outfielder, whether it be this winter, next summer or the off season one year from now, and probably needing to use a pitcher like Jon Niese to make it happen. Because, if the goal is to make a reasonable, sustainable run at the playoffs in 2014, and the Mets want to improve their run production, and they have no reliable short-term options in the farm system, and the free agent markets this year and next are going to look like they do, it means a deal is going to have to happen or nothing is going to be better.

The alternative is to stick with light-hitting defenders in the outfield and get more power at catcher and second base or shortstop (with Ruben Tejada playing the open spot). But, that’s not any easier.

Interestingly enough, I’m hearing more positive comments of late about the team’s low-level position players, specifically Brandon Nimmo and Matt Reynolds, but they’re still considered long-term options in the outfield with lots still yet to happen between now and then.