There is a lack of quality free agent outfielders on the MLB market this offseason that the New York Mets would be willing to spend for outright. With that said, they have in Andres Torres, a centerfielder that most teams a couple years ago would have considered quality at a reasonable price.
The problem lies in the fact that Torres, at the age of 35, has just had his second down year in a row and is simply just not that good anymore. Although the Mets have prospects such as Brandon Nimmo and Matt Reynolds in their farm system, they may be a couple years removed from being productive, if at all, at the major league level.
In my opinion, the Mets would be better served giving the job to Kirk Nieuwenhuis than keeping Torres. I understand that Nieuwenhuis may not be the best option, but his numbers were clearly equal or better than Torres’ if you put them in the same number of games. In 91 games, Captain Kirk had a .252AVG, 12 doubles, 1 triple, 7HRs, 28RBIs and a .691 OPS. Torres batted .230 in 132 games with 17 doubles, 7 triples, 3HRs, 35RBIs and a .646 OPS.
I would rather see the younger Nieuwenhuis patrol centerfield and grow with this team than bring back a frustrating, aging veteran that looks lackluster at best. Being the free agent pool is not in the Mets low budget range, Nieuwenhuis may just be the best option for 2013. The Mets may then be able to trade a pitcher or two and acquire a power hitting corner outfielder to play opposite bust Jason Bay since Sandy Alderson has clearly stated he is not going to be released.
I will be evaluating the outfield free agents in the weeks to come, but believe me when I say that the Mets will not be able to ascertain anyone of any quality unless it is through a trade. They have already non-tendered RHP Mike Pelfrey, now it is time to do the same for Torres.
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