While the new year has not come and gone yet, and there are still almost 50 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training, the New York Mets have addressed all but their most glaring need: the outfield. I know trading for Collin Cowgill was the highlight of their winter, but by no means will he be the answer so desperately needed in their outfield.
Now the Mets are going to find themselves out of luck if they do not make a move soon, as the pool of viable options is dwindling fast. I still believe that Scott Hairston would be the best available, being that Sandy Alderson already knows that he can produce in New York, and he is comfortable with his teammates.
Other MLB free agents are either weaker bats, over the hill, or simply not good monetary fits for the Mets this season, and it will be up to Alderson to simply piece together an outfield that can at least not embarrass themselves on a daily basis in the wide expanse that is Citi Field. Hairston provides that, and with Cody Ross agreeing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, unless Alderson can come up with a miracle for Justin Upton, the choices are slim.
Would Mets fans rather see Bobby Abreu, Mark DeRosa, Bill Hall, or Austin Kearns? I would seriously hope not. Hairston is a good fit for the Mets and they can actually afford to give him the raise that he wants, believe it or not. So what is the snag? Maybe Alderson does have some magic up his sleeve.
The Mets would be able to offer Hairston the most at-bats of any team left, and where else would they be able to replace his 20HRs and 57RBIs in an already timid offense. If Lucas Duda has another poor year, and heaven forbid if Ike Davis starts off slow as he did in 2012, the Mets would benefit from having a player like Hairston that could provide a lift. Plus the fact that David Wright would have a little protection in the middle of the order.
So yes, Hairston would be the best fit of any available outfielders left, unless Sandy can make some kind of rabbit pop out of his hat. And if you are like me, you might believe that Alderson played his only trick acquiring Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey. So hopefully, as the new year rings in, Terry Collins will be looking at an outfield that consists of Hairston, Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, rather than the alternative.
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