NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Before bringing back Jay Bruce on Wednesday night, the Mets were on the verge of acquiring second baseman Jason Kipnis from the Indians when a high-ranking team official nixed the deal, likely over money.
According to WFAN baseball insider and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, people on both teams thought a trade involving Kipnis was a done deal before it was vetoed by “someone at the top” of the Mets.
In the end, the Mets did not see good value in Kipnis, who is owed $30.5 million over the next two seasons. The two-time All-Star is coming off a season in which he had career lows in batting average (.232), on-base percent (.291) and OPS (.705).
The Mets wouldn’t have had to give up much in the way of prospects, Heyman reported.
The Kipnis revelation is sure to reignite criticism that the Mets are cheap. The team reportedly hopes to have a payroll at or below the $154 million it spent last season.
Even after signing Bruce to a three-year, $39 million contract, the Mets believe they have multiple holes to fill and are being cautious about how much they spend on each one.
A couple of possibilities for the Mets at second base include re-signing Jose Reyes or trading for Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison. They don’t seem to be interested in trying to trade for the Marlins’ Starlin Castro, and word has it Neil Walker would prefer not to return to Flushing, Heyman reported.
If the Mets start Asdrubal Cabrera at second base, they could instead turn their attention to signing a third baseman. They have reportedly expressed interest in free agents Mike Moustakas and Todd Frazier.