LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Mets continued to talk with Jay Bruce’s agent at the Winter Meetings about a possible reunion, but a team source said that it would be unlikely anything would get done this week.
The outfielder, who also played enough first base to fit into the Mets’ plans for versatility, is still looking for a four-year deal and the Mets are still not ready to go that far.
“Without getting into specifics, two or three resonates a lot stronger than four or five,” Alderson said, speaking hypothetically of potential deals. “There is a balance between going super short term and turning over your roster every year and having to go through the same cycle from one offseason to the next and having some continuity there.”
With the Mets having signed right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak Wednesday, they are turning their focus to ways to improve the offense. Alderson said that they are flexible in how they address that with an outfielder who plays first base or a second baseman. While a team source confirmed they have talked to representatives for Todd Frazier, it seemed unlikely they would pivot from Asdrubal Cabrera at third right now.
Instead, the Mets had hoped to acquire veteran Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler as an upgrade in the infield, but early Wednesday night they appeared to have lost out on him to the Angels.
After trading Jay Bruce to Cleveland over the summer, the Mets are interested in bringing him back to Flushing.
(Jason Miller/Getty Images)
“The stated goals were pretty broad. Relief pitching and offense. Maybe second base, first base and the outfield. That pretty much covers a good part of a lineup. In those broad parameters, we have been talking to a lot of people and scenarios,” Alderson said.
Terry Francona knew he would eventually lose his pitching coach, Mickey Callaway, and he thinks the Mets’ first-year manager is going to be a huge success.
“I think Mickey’s a star,” the Cleveland manager said. “I think once he made it known he wanted to manage, it was a matter of time until we lost him.”
Callaway spent a weekend in California golfing with Francona and Cleveland bench coach Brad Mills.
Mickey Callaway received high praise from Terry Francona.
“It’s fun to see guys go through their firsts,” Francona said. “We just came back from a golf tournament at Pebble where we were together. We had four days where we don’t talk about much other than baseball. To see him so excited, he’s going through the honeymoon phase, which is good. He’s excited, and everything is rosy. But it’s exciting to see him feel that way.
“We’re all proud of him,” Francona continued. “You go from not knowing a guy to then almost feeling like he’s your brother a couple of years later. That’s a good feeling.”
BORAS PRODS METS
Uber agent Scott Boras used the Winter Meetings to once again take a shot at the Mets’ frugal ways. Boras, who represents Matt Harvey and Michael Conforto, said the Mets “have to get to the vault, because the ATM has limits.”
Sandy Alderson was baffled by Boras’ comments, referring back to the agent’s theme at the GM Meetings last month and in past years.
“I don’t know what that has to do with Playoffville,” Alderson said. “Or shopping at the meat market.”
Last month, Boras said the Mets “have all the materials to live in a palatial estate of Playoffville. The question is, ‘When do they choose to begin construction?’”
In the past, he said the Mets were shopping in the “fruits and nuts aisle.”
Boras saved his harshest criticisms for the Marlins, who continued their selloff on Wednesday by dealing Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals.
“We are seeing one of the major leagues’ jewelry stores become a pawn shop,” Boras said.
He said that Harvey, who the Mets have shopped around and were unable to get a high enough return for, began a throwing program at his California institute and the ball is coming out of his hand well.