The New York Mets are free to spend this winter but that doesn’t mean they need to go crazy and spend carelessly. That isn’t likely to happen with GM Sandy Alderson leading the way. There should be plenty of talent available at affordable prices this winter as the free agent crop is less than dynamic but there are a few names that could pop up on the Mets’ radar.
Michael Morse is coming off a terrible year with both the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. He hit a combined .215/.270/.381 this season with 13 home runs and 27 RBI in 88 games. Morse, however, is just a year removed from a 2012 campaign that saw him his 18 home runs along with a .291/.321/.470 slash line in 102 games. His best season, however, came in 2011 when he managed to stay healthy enough to appear in 146 games and hit .303/.360/.550 with 31 homers, 73 runs scored, 36 doubles and 95 RBI.
Health has been an issue for the first baseman/outfielder who will turn 32 in March. When he is healthy he has been a productive power bat. It is is health and 2013 performance though that could put him in the Mets’s financial wheelhouse.
The Mets do have Ike Davis and can play Lucas Duda at first base but Morse would be an upgrade offensively over both of them if he stays healthy. Davis was, at one time, a 30-homer guy but he struggled so much this past season that it looks like the Mets might look to trade him or at least seek a temporary upgrade. If the Mets do target Morse and want to hold onto Davis they can easily plug Morse into the mix in the outfield where they need upgrades, especially from an offensive standpoint.
Morse’s ability to play first or the outfield, his power and low price tag should make him attractive to several teams. There are rumors floating around that the Mets might make a push to sign Shin-Soo Choo but it is likely he will receive an offer higher than the Mets’.
There is one bonus for the Mets this off-season, their first-round pick is protected so they wouldn’t have to surrender their top pick regardless of who they signed. The bonus about targeting Morse is that he wouldn’t even cost the Mets a second rounder.
Would adding Morse suddenly propel the Mets into contenders? No, it wouldn’t. It would, however, add a power bat into a lineup that is in desperate need of it and even if the Mets are without Matt Harvey next season they still owe it to their fans to start fielding a competitive team. Morse would be just one step in accomplishing that goal.