While their pursuit of Ben Zobrist has escalated, the Mets still have an eye on adding an outfielder capable playing centerfield and a veteran reliever to round out the bullpen.
The Mets view free agents Denard Span and Gerardo Parra as potential fits, according to a source. While Dexter Fowler has also been linked to the Mets earlier in the offseason, the club’s interest has cooled.
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Meanwhile, a source said the Mets will cast a wide net when it comes to seeking relief help. Recent non-tender Steve Cishek, a one-time closer for the Marlins, is among those who will be considered.
Assistant general manager John Ricco insisted that the Mets can increase payroll this season. He downplayed the notion that the Mets will be hampered financially on other fronts should they sign Zobrist.
Said Ricco: “I don’t think we’re operating under it’s either or at this point. I think we can do what we need to do.”
Bob Geren called leaving the Mets “one of the more difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make.”
Geren left his post as Mets bench coach to take the same job with the Dodgers, a decision he said was driven by family considerations.
“Both my family and my wife’s family are all from Southern California,” Geren said. “Everybody’s getting older and it will be a fantastic opportunity to spend more time with both of our families.”
Ricco said third base coach Tim Teufel is among several internal candidates to take over for Geren.
The Mets have discussed exposing catchers Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki to different defensive positions in spring training . . . The club is looking at options to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1986 team’s run to the World Series title . . . Coca Cola is expected to take over naming rights of the seating section known as the Pepsi Porch.