SAN DIEGO - The third day of the winter meetings brought no firm resolutions, though the Mets have remained busy combing through their various options to fill their most obvious needs.
"We certainly would like to do something while we're here, cross one thing off our list," general manager Sandy Alderson said Wednesday. "And we're hopeful that will happen. It's hard to predict."
Indeed, the status of starting pitcher Dillon Gee triggered another round of speculation about his future destination. Both the Rockies and Rangers are among multiple clubs that have been in contact about the veteran righthander.
But while Gee has remained a topic of conversation, and the Mets have been clear about their desire to trade a starting pitcher before spring training, no deals appear imminent.
Gee, Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese remain the three most likely to be traded. Several rival executives labeled Niese the most valuable trade chip of the three, though his name hasn't appeared as prominently as Gee's.
The Mets remain open to the kind of pieces that would come back in any trade for Gee, according to a source. Earlier in the day, reports surfaced that the Mets' discussions with the Rockies centered on lefthanded reliever Rex Brothers.
Though Brothers is coming off a down year (5.59 ERA in 74 appearances), and some in the Mets organization see him as an attractive potential trade candidate, a source said that the lefthander has not been brought up in discussions.
Meanwhile, Alderson reaffirmed the Mets' preference to keep their young arms such as Noah Syndergaard, who are considered off limits barring a significant deal. Even in trade discussions, Alderson said rival teams have been more hesitant to ask about the likes of Syndergaard.
Said Alderson: "Most clubs know what our position is on those pitchers."
The Mets continued to explore the market for lefthanded pitching, a priority for Alderson. Sources said the Mets have conferred with representatives for Craig Breslow, Phil Coke and Neal Cotts.
But none of the options stand out for the Mets, who moved on one fallback option. The Mets agreed in principle on a deal to bring back lefthander Scott Rice, whose season was cut short in July by elbow surgery.
Rice agreed to a minor- league deal with an invite to spring training.
On the shortstop front, a trade appears increasingly unlikely. But the Mets continue to explore the free-agent market.
Agent Scott Boras said he has met with Alderson about more than one of his clients. Though he declined to specify, his client list includes Stephen Drew, Everth Cabrera and Japanese star Takashi Toritani.
Cabrera has been on the Mets' radar since he was non-tendered by the Padres this month. A source said Cabrera hasn't been ruled out. Cabrera has been saddled by off-field troubles, including a PED-related suspension.
The Mets also haven't ruled out shortstop Jung-Ho Kang, who is expected to be posted soon. Kang has shown power while playing in South Korea.
"We're thinking about it," Alderson said. "We haven't decided yes or no."