NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Mets have reportedly zeroed in on four candidates to fill the hole in their infield.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mets are weighing whether to add Neil Walker, Eduardo Nunez, Todd Frazier or Josh Harrison. Leaning on analytics, the front office views the four as mostly similar and is looking to score the best value, the report said.
While it’s not clear how the Mets would rank the four if all things were equal, it appears Harrison is at the bottom of the short list because the Pirates infielder is the only one of the possibilities who is not a free agent. New York would prefer not to surrender any players or prospects, reports say.
The Mets are searching for either a second baseman or third baseman. Asdrubal Cabrera’s primary position would be dictated by the acquisition. Walker and Harrison primarily play second base, while Frazier and Nunez are third basemen.
New York acquired Walker in a December 2015 trade to replace Daniel Murphy. He was a having a career year in 2016 — .282 batting average, 23 home runs — when he suffered a season-ending back injury in August.
With the Mets out of contention, Walker, 32, was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers this past August. He hit .265 with 14 home runs in 2017.
Harrison, a two-time All-Star, batted .272 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs, for Pittsburgh last season. The 30-year-old has reportedly requested a trade after the Pirates dealt pitcher Gerrit Cole and outfielder Andrew McCutchen this winter. Harrison is owed $10 million this season, and there are team options on his contract for 2019 and 2020.
Frazier, 31, who was traded from the White Sox to the Yankees in July, hit .213 with 27 home runs and 76 RBIs in 2017. He is a two-time All-Star.
A former Yankee, Nunez, 30, split last season between Giants and Red Sox, hitting .313 with 12 homers, 58 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. He was an All-Star in 2016.
Adrian Gonzalez and Dominic Smith figure to compete or platoon at first base, and Amed Rosario is penciled in at shortstop. The Mets re-signed Jose Reyes to a one-year contract last week. He is expected to serve as a utility man.