With Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and the newly-acquired Collin Cowgill as the top internal options on their 40-man roster, the Mets don’t have a legitimate everyday outfielder at this point. Now they are looking at someone who hasn’t played in the majors since September 22, 2011.
SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt hears that the Mets are “very interested” in free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore. The 30-year-old didn’t play at all with the Indians in 2012 and is expected to be out until midseason next year following microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, so patience will be required by any team that signs him. The Mets aren’t expected to contend in 2013, so they might be one of those clubs willing to roll the dice on a possible rebound.
Sizemore was once one of the game’s brightest young stars, but he has missed 382 of a possible 486 games over the past three seasons. After having microfracture surgery on both of his knees since 2010, his days as a center fielder are likely over. Chances are he’ll have to settle for a one-year deal with a low guarantee or possibly a minor league deal.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.