Looking to fill the void in the outfield left by free agent Yoenis Cespedes (who is expected to sign elsewhere), the Mets have their eye on a handful of free agent outfielders including Denard Span Gerardo Parra, and Dexter Fowler, as Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
Despite the Mets reaching the World Series, the club isn’t expected to expand their payroll very much beyond last year’s $103 million Opening Day figure.
Span battled back and hip injuries this past season and underwent surgery for a torn labrum in September, but he’s expected to be more or less on time for the start of spring training. He hit .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases in 275 plate appearances for the Nationals in 2015.
Parra posted an .886 OPS in 100 games with the Brewers before he was shipped to the Orioles at the trade deadline. He finished the season on a sour note, compiling a paltry .625 OPS in 55 games in Baltimore.
Fowler has only once in his career posted an OPS above .800 across eight seasons in the majors and he grades out as a subpar defender. However, he provides speed and a good eye at the plate.
Carig notes that, internally, the Mets prefer Span, Parra, and Fowler over other free agents such as Colby Rasmus and Will Venable. The Mets aren’t expected to pursue elite free agent outfield talents Jason Heyward and Justin Upton.