The Mets are waiting for the asking prices of low-risk, high-reward starting pitchers to drop, reports Andy Martino of the New York Daily News. They've got about $4MM to work with, though the Mets say that number is flexible.
Martino expects the Mets to choose between Freddy Garcia, Chris Young, Jeff Francis, "and any other established or semi-established starter." There are plenty of other similar free agents, including Jeremy Bonderman, Doug Davis, Justin Duchscherer, Rodrigo Lopez, Kevin Millwood, and Brad Penny. However, Mike Puma of the New York Post wrote on Friday that Young "appears to be the only free agent starting pitcher the Mets are seriously considering." Puma wrote of a "growing sense" the Mets will turn to a trade, with Tom Gorzelanny and Matt Garza on the radar. John Maine is unlikely to return, according to new Mets GM Sandy Alderson at the Winter Meetings.
Martino says that while the Mets are not seriously pursuing Brandon Webb, they may be forced to wait for him to sign and set the market for pitchers with injury concerns. Last offseason Ben Sheets signed on January 26th, after guys like Rich Harden, Brett Myers, and Penny. So the Mets don't necessarily have to assume Webb and Young are tied to one another. Regardless, Webb is expected to sign soon.
It's been a quiet first offseason for Alderson, who has committed $3.8MM to Ronny Paulino and D.J. Carrasco and otherwise stuck to minor league deals and a couple of Rule 5 selections.