Seven Mets became free agents today

Scott Hairston, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno, Kelly Shoppach, Tim Byrdak and Chris Young all became free agents today, and are free to negotiate with other teams.

Mike Puma of the New York Post says the Mets still would like to retain Hairston, but the raise and probability he will command a multi-year deal makes his return unlikely.

Sandy Alderson said in July he decided not to trade Hairston at the trade deadline because he had more value to the Mets on the team than he did for the quality of prospects he could have acquired in return.

Hairston was then placed on trade waivers in August, and while he was claimed, the Mets did not make a deal.

Michael Baron, Contributor

When the Mets retained Hairston at the trade deadline, I was confident that was a sign the Mets intended to keep him beyond 2012.  He had a career year and mashed left-handed pitching, and can probably go a long way towards fueling production in an otherwise thin outfield, even if he doesn’t match the numbers he produced in 2012. However, it’s hard to envision the Mets giving Hairston a raise and a multi-year deal given their current needs and how close they already are to their budget for 2013. In that sense, not trading him at the deadline or by August 31 feels like a missed opportunity with good intentions, but given Hairston was one of the few offensive weapons in the lineup, it’s understandable why Alderson decided to keep him.