In addition to acquiring second baseman Neil Walker via a trade from the Pirates and the pending signing of free agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, the Mets still look to add a platoon outfielder, arms for the bullpen, and perhaps, a familiar face to fill out the rotation.
With lefty Jonathon Niese sent to the Pirates in exchange for Niese, a source said the Mets have ramped up efforts to re-sign veteran righty Bartolo Colon.
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No deal is close with Colon, who according to Fox Sports, has drawn interest from other clubs. However, the 42-year fan favorite would likely slot into the fifth starters’ role with the ability to also work out of the bullpen.
Niese had been in line for that job, at least until Zack Wheeler’s expected return from Tommy John surgery around July.
Colon, a crafty strike thrower, went 14-13 with a 4.16 ERA in 194 2/3 regular season innings.
“We’re going to regroup and look at that,” Ricco said, when asked about adding a starter. “I don’t think we have to go out and get another starter because of those guys I already mention. But if we want to and we see someone who can make us better, I think we’ll pursue that as well.”
The Mets also have internal options in Rafael Montero, Sean Gilmartin and Logan Verrett.
Meanwhile, the Mets expect to have enough financial flexibility to address other needs even though they’re still unlikely to target high-end free agent.
Though relief pitching is a priority, lefthander Tony Sipp, the top reliever left on the market, is unlikely to be pursued by the Mets a source said.
The Mets have been linked to free agent Denard Span as an option to share time in centerfield with Juan Lagares. But Span’s agent Scott Boras indicated that the veteran might not be receptive to such a role.