NEW YORK (WFAN) — If the price is right, the Mets could have a new shortstop this season. The problem is the price hasn’t been right for some time now and the clock seems to be ticking.
So, at least for the time being, get used to the idea of Ruben Tejada.
Speaking to WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Tuesday, general manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets have spoken to many teams about acquiring a shortstop, and are still actively engaged with free agent Stephen Drew.
Francesa asked Alderson if the Mets have the financial room to add another impact player before the season starts. His answer should leave the fans feeling somewhat optimistic.
“We have a little room. I think it depends on the player,” Alderson said. “Could we sign Stephen Drew? Is that the question? I think the answer is yes under the right circumstances. It will have to be on terms that are mutually agreeable. Are we going to sign a free agent between now and the beginning of spring training for $15 million a year? I don’t think so.”
Alderson said though his preference would be to find a better option, he has been encouraged of late by Tejada, who hit .202 with no homers and 10 RBI in 57 games last season.
“I think you have to be realistic about that. We continue to talk to clubs about shortstops that may be out there available in trade. There are not that many. Price is always a consideration. Those conversations have continued,” Alderson said. “It’s just hard to predict what could happen over the next week, two weeks, three weeks. But in the meantime, Ruben demonstrated a real commitment to get better by working out in the offseason up in Michigan and I’m anxious to see how that translates on the field.”
The general manager said he wouldn’t be surprised if some free agents take even more time to find the right fit, pointing out to Francesa that signings continued into May last season. However, as far as the Mets are concerned, Alderson said not to expect much on the pitching front, though he is still looking for another bullpen arm to complement recently signed Kyle Farnsworth.
“We’ve admitted for some time, there isn’t a lot of experience out there. We continue to look for other experienced relievers,” he said. “I would say right now going in we must look hard at what we have and hope some guys step up. There’s always the hope in spring training we could add, but it must be more than a body. It would have to be someone who can make an impact.”
Alderson also said he expects first base to be a battle between Ike Davis and Lucas Duda, adding whomever loses that competition could very well find himself elsewhere come opening day.
Pitchers and catchers are due in Port St. Lucie by Saturday and position players must report by Feb. 20.
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