After coming up empty in their pursuit of George Springer, it’s on to the next one for the Mets, who have already endured a busy offseason, bolstering their roster with the additions of Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor May and James McCann.
With Springer off the board and J.T. Realmuto no longer a fit (that ship sailed as soon as the Mets signed McCann), most would expect New York to make a run at Trevor Bauer, who remains without a team. The reigning NL Cy Young winner has hinted his interest in New York on numerous occasions, though according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Mets are in no rush to add Bauer to their pitching staff.
Instead, the Mets are believed to be prioritizing Gold Glove outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and former Dodgers utility man Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez, among others. Per Heyman, New York is also keeping a close eye on former Padres and Indians closer Brad Hand, who led the majors with 16 saves last season.
Though not a particularly accomplished hitter (.239/.321/.412 career batting line), Bradley Jr. has long been hailed as a defensive prodigy, routinely making spectacular, bordering on impossible catches in center field. JBJ also brings valuable playoff experience, earning ALCS MVP honors for the Red Sox in 2018.
A jack-of-all-trades, the versatile Hernandez has started games at first base, second, third, shortstop and all three outfield positions in his career. Hernandez is also no stranger to the postseason, having appeared in three World Series as a member of the Dodgers.
Ken Rosenthal reported last week the Mets were nearing a two-year deal with Hand, though the free-agent left-hander is apparently still fielding interest from other clubs including the Astros and Blue Jays. As for Bauer, the former Reds and Indians ace has been content to wait out the market, with the Blue Jays, Mets, Angels and Dodgers among his most interested suitors.
The Mets, it should be noted, are currently operating without a GM after firing Jared Porter (who acknowledged sending explicit text messages to a female reporter) earlier this week. Team president Sandy Alderson will presumably hold down New York’s front-office fort while the Mets search for a replacement.