September 11, 2011; Flushing, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Jason Bay (44) doubles to left field during the sixth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. The Cubs won 10-6 in 11 innings. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Mets Rumors: New York Targeting Outfielder

The New York Mets have had a relatively quiet offseason due to the fact that their front office is facing well documented financial constraints.  However, now that the dust has settled and many of the big-name free agents have landed, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that the Mets are on the prowl for a bargain buy.  Crasnick tweeted yesterday that New York is in the market for a left-handed-hitting outfielder and named Johnny Damon, Kosuke Fukudome, Rick Ankiel, Raul Ibanez and Juan Pierre as possible players of interest.

Because there are so many viable free agent outfielders remaining on the market, Crasnick said that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson will possess an even higher level of leverage during negotiations.  Some players who figured to be in the mix for a DH role have found that market all but dry, and others have been passed over much of the offseason.

New York projects to enter the season with newly acquired Andres Torres manning center, Jason Bay in left field and a platoon of Scott Hairston and Lucas Dudain right.  For this reason it’s not evident where an additional outfielder would fit in.

Duda is a 25-year-old left-handed batter who’s hit .280/.361/.497 against right-handers over his short major league career.  It’s hard to imagine a name from the list above coming in and taking time away from him.  While Jason Bay has faced his share of struggles in recent years, his $16 million salary in 2012 tells me he pretty well cemented in the Mets lineup.

New York could look to add a partner to platoon with Andres Torres in center, but only Ankiel could legitimately be counted on to man the position in 2012 and he wasn’t exactly lighting things up in Washington last season.  Pierre did come up as a center fielder, but he hasn’t played the position regularly since 2007.

For more on the Mets, be sure to check out Rising Apple.

You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.

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Tags: Andres Torres Jason Bay Johnny Damon Juan Pierre Kosuke Fukudome Lucas Duda New York Mets Raul Ibanez Rick Ankiel Scott Hairston

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