The New York Mets are sought out to be seeking left-handed help in the outfield, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) December 21, 2015
The Amazins’ have been linked to players such as: Denard Span, Will Venable, and Alejandro De Aza. This could be a hint that the Mets plan on not re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, and go down a cheaper road. Left-handed bats like Span, Venable, and De Aza can be used as a platoon for right-handed-hitting Juan Lagares. Span has been connected with Nes York multiple times this offseason, and reports say that he will be visiting the Mets in January. Venable, along with De Aza, has had no link with the club, as for now.
Span is the top choice for the Mets, but his health is what is making the team hold back a little, that as well as his agent, Scott Boras, who is seeking a multi-year deal for the center fielder. The Mets have not ruled out a multi-year deal, but they would rather sign him to a one-year deal to make him prove that he is healthy. Span, 32 in Feburary, had hip surgery last August that limited his season to only 61 games.
In three years for the division rival, Washington Nationals, Span stole 62 bases while only being caught 13 times, he also hit .292/.345/.404. Span has been accountable for 6.8 WAR (wins above replacement), and 72 RAR (runs above replacement) during his time in Washington. Span has relied on his legs during his career and the hip issue has the potential to slow him down and really hurt his value to not just the Mets, but any team looking to sign him.
Unlike Span, Venable and De Aza are not so high up on the radar for the Mets, but are being considered if Span shows that he is just not himself after his hip surgery. Venable, 33, spent his whole eight-year career with the San Diego Padres before being dealt to the Texas Rangers during last season, and is a career .251/.317./406 hitter. Venable is not going to be a top-of-the-order guy, but he can add some spark off the bench and could be a good veteran to have in the clubhouse. Venable has had one good year, coming in 2013 where he set career highs in hits with 129, runs with 64, 22 home runs, and 53 runs batted in and hit .268. With the years all catching up to Venable he could just be a Cuddyer figure for New York.
De Aza doesn’t jump out to you as much as Span, or even Venable, but the Mets must see something in this guy if they are considering him. De Aza played for three teams last season, the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and San Francisco Giants. He hit .262 with an on base percentage of .333, and has a career average of .267 in eight seasons. De Aza is also turning 32 in April, and it does not seem like he would do a lot for New York next season. He is not an outstanding defender or on-base guy, and he strikes out a lot.
The Mets best bet is to go after Span in this position, given that he is healthy enough to even play at his potential. What New York really needs to do is throw the money down on the table and re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, but that will forever sound like a broken record for Mets fans across the nation.