It looks as though the 2017 Winter Meetings will be another frustrating time for New York Mets fans as the team continues to act like a small-market club, missing out or just ignoring clear-cut needs on its roster.
They did manage to bring in reliever Anthony Swarzak on Wednesday in an attempt to better a floundering bullpen, but the Mets have to do so much more before being considered a legitimate contender in the National League East.
Among those needs is a legitimate second baseman as the Mets traded away Neil Walker over the summer, forcing usual shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera — who was usurped from his position by top prospect Amed Rosario — to play both second and third.
With Cabrera slated to start the year at third, Wilmer Flores is their only possible starting option right now. However, he would be more impactful as a utility infielder that would be featured in lineups against left-handers. It's already been proven that he cannot be an everyday player.
The Mets have been somewhat active on the trade market in terms of finding a second baseman as they were linked to Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler. But the veteran had the Mets on his list of teams he did not want to be traded to and was dealt to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
According to Marc Carig of Newsday, the Mets still might be in on Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians, Josh Harrison of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cesar Hernandez of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Kipnis has been inconsistent and injury-riddled over his past few years with the Indians. Playing in only 90 games last season, the 30-year-old hit just .232. It was an anticlimactic return from a 2016 campaign that saw him hit a career-high 23 home runs with 82 RBI.
Harrison hit a career-high 16 home runs last season as a utility man, but the Pirates could be looking to shed some salary as Harrison is slated to make $10 million. Acquiring him would give the Mets not only an option at second but at third also should they wish to rotate him and Cabrera.
Hernandez might be the most talented of the three, coming off a season in which he sported a .793 OPS while batting .294 with a .373 on-base percentage. He would solve the Mets' problems of looking for a lead-off man and provide a shot in the arm to a team whose on-base percentage last year was a below-average .320.
However, the asking price for Hernandez will likely be the highest and the Mets don't necessarily have a ton of assets they could offer.
Should the team fail to acquire a legitimate second baseman, Carig added that Jose Reyes could be brought back via free agency to play the position. That provides little consolation for a team that needs an injection of new talent.