Rumors around Major League Baseball continue this offseason as they do every winter. The latest out of the Big Apple is that the New York Mets have a problem with their outfield and are working on different solutions to get that problem fixed.
According to a report released by Fox Sports, New York has talked to the Pittsburgh Pirates related to a possible trade for the Pirates veteran outfielder Andrew McCutchen. This report said that both teams just began trading conversations and there remains a great deal to be done before any trade would take place.
At the current time, the Mets starting centerfielder would be Curtis Granderson next season. However, he has not played center field on a full time basis since 2012. The only player who is a true center fielder that is on the Mets roster is Juan Lagares, but the Mets do not appear to be too interested in Lagares being their starter.
Since the offseason began, there has been great speculation about the future of McCutchen with the Pirates. There were early rumors that had the Dodgers and Nationals both interested in his services.
Those two teams have since moved on to other pursuits and now it is the Mets that are the most likely club to move in and grab the former National League MVP.
The big question is whom would the Mets have to include in a trade to land McCutchen. Pittsburgh needs a number of players, but teams are not willing to risk giving up one or more of their top young players for one who regressed the past two seasons.
However, the Mets could be tempted to trade some young talent on the mound like Steve Matz, Zack Wheeler or Jacob deGrom but they would be giving up a great deal to get a veteran that some believe might be declining as he approaches his 30th birthday.
There are other centerfielders available in the free agent market at a lesser price such as Ben Revere, Michael Saunders or Rajai Davis. Other options that would involve a trade include Lorenzo Cain of the Royals and Charlie Blackmon from the Rockies.
Those just named players will not come cheap, but would likely cost less than if the Mets went after McCutchen.
New York has Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce in left and right field but need a player who is a natural in center field that is able to cover ground both Bruce and Cespedes cannot.
The Mets need to fix this dilemma as soon as possible or they will have a glaring hole in centerfield that Granderson will not be able to fill on his own.