A Look At The SS Market
Good lord this is ugly. As the Mets will obviously look to bring in a SS, the FA market is uh... less than appetizing.
Yunel Escobar $5M club option
Most of these guys couldn't stand at SS for more than 10 games without breaking down. Besides that, there are only a few that could manage an OPS over .700 in a break out year. Only Casilla at 29 is under 30 years old, not atypical for a FA class anymore, however 6 of them are 35 or over.
My favorite of the group is Escobar but I would also assume his option is picked up. While not a flashy hitter, he more than makes up for it with his great defense.
Peralta is obviously the big name but he scares me tremendously. I expect him to get paid unfortunately as the top SS on the market. At 31-32 as a SS who had a very bad 2012 and rebounds while on PED's is a dangerous proposition to make. Just ask the Jays if they would do that Melky contract over again.
You also hear Stephen Drew's name thrown around frequently. While he too is a solid hitter, I fear the effects of playing in Boston. Some are also predicting up to 12M a year for the 30 year old SS who will turn 31 before opening day. Of course the Mets could trade for a SS. The logical candidates would be players whose contract includes one more year. Teams that might be looking to lose salary or have youth knocking at the door.
Some interesting names include: Asdrubal Cabrera
I would prefer any of the three over the current market. Cabrera is blocking up and coming Francisco Lindor, the Indians top prospect. However, the kicker is just like Drew getting overpaid, if Cabrera is available expect him to command a hefty bounty in trade. The good news would be that the Indians might be tempted by being in win now mode and could stay away from prospects looking for MLB talent instead. The bad news, the Mets don't have any MLB talent to trade that would be enough without being an overpay.
Lowrie is in a similar position with Oakland's Addison Russell coming on but I also imagine it will be 2015 before he is ready to be the full-time starter. Hardy is an intriguing name as he definitely supplies power but I see no incentive for the O's to move him. Of course this leaves out a few other potential names such as Alexei Ramirez, a local poster's favorite. There's also pie in the sky names such as one of the Rangers two SS in Andrus and Profar or the Cubs Starlin Castro who seemed to hit a wall offensively this season.
Ramirez is 32 years old and coming off back to back poor seasons at .275 .301 .372 .673 while being under contract for 9.5M and 10M the next two seasons with a 1M buyout for 2016. I just can't see paying 10M a year for that type of production in addition to giving up a prospect to acquire him. Sure the Sox could pick up part of the salary but that would just increase the prospects demanded.
So what do I expect? It's hard to say. It's clear that Sandy and the Mets are fed up with Ruben Tejada but as a team with a limited budget and holes in multiple locations their options appear incredibly limited. Ultimately I do expect a trade for a SS. Perhaps the Rays look to move Escobar or the Mets can match up with the Indians in terms of pitching for Cabrera.