On Thursday night, Mets special assistant JP Ricciardi told Rob Bradford and John McDonald of WEEI Radio in Boston the team is happy to go into camp with Ruben Tejada as their projected starting shortstop.
“A lot of young players who get to play at the big league level early in their career, a lot of them don’t realize how hard it is to play every day,” Ricciardi explained about Tejada. “They get to the big leagues, some things happen for them and they forget how tough it is to stay there. … I think next year he’s going to be a better player than he was this previous year.”
Ricciardi acknowledged the shortstop market has not evolved the way they envisioned, which is partly why the Mets have become open to the possibility of Tejada starting the year as their shortstop.
“Sometimes there’s just supply and demand and I think right now there’s just not a lot of demand for shortstops,” Ricciardi said. “I think in this case there’s a lot of shortstops that are already in place.”
Michael Baron, ContributorEarly on, the front office made finding a new shortstop a top priority. Unfortunately, there hasn’t seemed to be as many realistic targets as the Mets envisioned there would be, the price in free agency skyrocketed early, leaving the Mets in a difficult position.
They’re still looking and trying to find a way to upgrade. It’s possible they could eventually sign free agent SS Stephen Drew, as his market is basically limited to both New York teams and the Red Sox at the moment. Of the three, the Mets might offer the highest probability he would start over the length of any contract. If he does get a shorter-term deal, joining the Mets could provide the greatest ability to build more value for when he re-enters free agency in a year or two.