Mets Notes: Axford, Gregg, Drew, Payroll

Both the Mets and Yankees have already made notable signings this offseason, but both Big Apple franchises still need bullpen help, according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.  Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters that his team would "take a hard look at" adding veteran relief arms, and to that end, Martino reports that Alderson met with the agent for John Axford and Kevin Gregg on Wednesday.  The Orioles, Cubs, Mariners and Indians are some of the many teams who have shown interest in Axford while Gregg's market has been much quieter.

Here are some more items about the Amazins…

  • "I think it's more likely if we come up with a 'high-end' shortstop or someone we like, it's more likely to come in a trade," Alderson told reporters, including Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.  This seems to hint that the Mets have moved on from Stephen Drew, though Silverman wonders if Alderson could simply be engaging in some gamesmanship.  The Mets have been linked to Drew this winter but aren't eager to give the shortstop a two-year contract.
  • The Mets feel like they would have to overpay to sign Drew and keep him from re-signing with the Red Sox, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter links).  The Mets' next move, therefore, is to acquire a young shortstop in a trade.  Rosenthal cites the names of the Diamondbacks' Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings and the Mariners' Brad Miller and Nick Franklin as shortstops who could be candidates to be dealt, though Seattle might not be open to such talks right now since they're "currently preoccupied" with trying to acquire David Price from the Rays.
  • With Johan Santana and Jason Bay off the books, the Mets are closer to finding the so-called payroll "sweet spot" when no single player accounts for an overly-large percentage of a team's payroll, Newsday's Marc Carig writes.  David Wright accounts for roughly 24% of the Mets' projected 2014 payroll, and while this is a larger share than most teams would prefer, Wright is at least the Mets' best player, Carig notes.

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