Bill Madden of the New York Daily News doesn't expect the New York Mets to make too big a splash in free agency this winter. Madden notes that a left-handed hitter and a couple of starting pitchers are "absolute necessities" for the Mets, but he projects they'll only have about $20MM to spend.
Based on his payroll projections, Madden declares "you can count [the Mets] out right now" on top free agents such as John Lackey, Matt Holliday, and Jason Bay. Instead, he feels the Mets should be, and will be, focusing on second-tier free agents, such as Mark DeRosa, Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis, and Marlon Byrd.
In a separate article, Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News suggests that, if they're unable to sign a big bat like Holliday or Bay, the Mets might be interested in acquiring Jose Guillen from the Kansas City Royals. Rubin says that a potential deal isn't close, and it seems hard to believe that one could happen.
Rubin himself points out multiple roadblocks, including Guillen's lack of fielding ability and the $12MM that the 33-year-old is owed in 2010 (the Mets would want the Royals to take on a huge chunk of that figure). If Madden is right about the Mets' limited spending money, I can't imagine the club investing in a player like Guillen.