NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — As the Mets begin the annual winter meetings looking to trade from their surplus of outfielders, Curtis Granderson continues to generate the most interest from other teams in trade talks, sources said Sunday — but moving Jay Bruce remains the Mets’ preference.
“It’s not just a question of what we can get but who’s going to help us, that sort of thing,” general manager Sandy Alderson said in general terms about the decision facing the Mets.
How to proceed in the outfield likely will be the biggest decision that the Mets make at the winter meetings, which officially begin Monday.
Though team officials have expressed a belief that a trade could get done this week, Alderson would not establish a timeline. “Sometimes the trade market trails the free-agent market a little bit,” he said, “so I really can’t say.”
The Mets have made it clear that both lefthanded-hitting outfielders are available. While Alderson did not rule out trading both, he said that scenario is unlikely.
Alderson acknowledged that trading Granderson might be more difficult given his connection to the team, not just on the field but off it, as he has received numerous accolades for his community service.
Bruce hit 33 homers for the Reds and Mets last season and will make $13 million in 2017. Granderson, who hit 30 homers, will make $15 million. The Mets hope to move one of those salaries, and sources said a reliever or a prospect in return would be ideal.
The Mets are targeting mid-tier relievers — they need both a righty and a lefty — but Alderson again mentioned the potential of using righties Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and even Zack Wheeler to help fill out the bullpen.
Sources said the Mets have made it clear that 21-year-old shortstop prospect Amed Rosario is virtually untouchable in trade talks.
Michael Conforto continues to receive “a ton” of interest, a source said, and although the Mets will listen, he’s unlikely to be moved. The same goes for Gsellman.
Teams also have inquired about centerfielder Juan Lagares, a source said, but the Mets haven’t been enticed to move the former Gold Glover.
Forde honored. Major League Baseball is auctioning off a variety of unique items and experiences to fund the renovation of a baseball and softball field in the name of late Mets media relations executive Shannon Forde. Items can be bid upon at MLB.com/Shannon. The auction runs through Thursday.
Forde succumbed to cancer in March. She was 44. The renovated field in her hometown of Little Ferry, New Jersey, will be named in her honor.
Said Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, “It’s an amazing tribute to an amazing woman that we all miss every day at the office.”