As Major League Baseball’s Winter Meetings kick off from Las Vegas on Monday, the New York Mets continue to be one of the biggest players on the market this offseason.
Already acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners and believed to be involved with plenty other notable names, a new face emerged as a possible target over the weekend.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reported on Sunday that the Mets will “at least inquire” about Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig, who has grown disgruntled over his playing time within a deep roster out West. He appeared in 125 games last season, batting .267 with 23 home runs and 63 RBI.
It’s not the first time the 28-year-old has been linked to trade talks as he and the Dodgers haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, whether that pertains to playing time or his demeanor. The right fielder is one of the more emotional, fiery players in the league is not afraid to show his passion between the lines.
Puig has never played in more than 152 games over his first six seasons in the league but is capable of putting up some big numbers with regular playing time. During that 2017 season in which he played in that many games, he hit 28 home runs with 74 RBI, both career highs.
On the surface, Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s interest seems confusing. The Mets are laden with corner outfielders with the likes of Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo and the injured Yoenis Cespedes.
However, the link to Puig might suggest that the Mets are considering tinkering with their current situation. In pursuit of All-Star catcher JT Realmuto, the Mets have reportedly been asked to include either Nimmo or Conforto in a trade with Puig being an immediate replacement. The Mets are unlikely to include Conforto per the latest reports.
With their interest in free-agent center fielder AJ Pollock as well, the Mets could be rolling out a very different-looking outfield come Opening Day 2019 if talks with Puig gain any traction.