NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The pursuit of Ben Zobrist had taken center stage for the Mets at these meetings. But they remain interested in acquiring a veteran reliever and a centerfielder to partner with Juan Lagares.
On both fronts, assistant general manager John Ricco said the club hasn’t progressed gauging initial interest.
Outfielders Denard Span and Gerardo Parra have been linked to the Mets, though the position player market has been much slower to develop when compared to pitching.
The market for relievers has been steady. The Rockies on Tuesday reportedly signed Jason Motte and Chad Qualls to two-year deals.
But Ricco insisted that the rash of signings have not impacted the Mets’ efforts to strengthen the bridge to closer Jeurys Familia.
“To this point, nothing has occurred, or we’re not getting any feedback that has us worried that the options we’re looking at are going to go away, honestly,” Ricco said. “Most of the things we’re hoping to do are still viable for us.”
The Mets have acknowledged interest in potential reunions with free agents Tyler Clippard and Jerry Blevins. Recently non-tendered former closer Steve Cishek will also be considered.
“I know that there’s some names out there that are still floating around that are good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got some pieces that we may re-sign to contracts. We’ll find those guys to fill those holes.”
Shortstop Wilmer Flores suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left ankle after he was struck by a pitch while playing winter ball.
He will be in a cast for a few weeks, though Ricco said the team expects him to be ready for Opening Day. With Ruben Tejada on the mend off his fractured ankle — the product of Chase Utley’s takeout slide in the NLDS — both of the Mets’ primary shortstops will arrive in spring coming off injuries.
“I’m concerned about it,” Collins said. “Lower leg injuries, they are tough. But they both — and I know that they know how to — they have got to get ready.
The Mets will conduct interviews for their open spot on the coaching staff after the winter meetings . . . The Mets remain open to trading lefthander Jonathon Niese, who has generated some interest.