LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As the Mets spend their time at the Winter Meetings exploring realistic trade possibilities -- "Everybody is aware of what we have; we don't have to advertise that," general manager Sandy Alderson said -- they have begun to consider what their roster might look like after making various potential deals.
Alderson met Monday with Brewers GM Doug Melvin, among others, to discuss a potential trade of first basemen Ike Davis or Lucas Duda, and the logic there is simple: whichever player the Mets deal, the other one would become their starting first baseman (likely in a platoon with right-handed-hitting Josh Satin ).
But if the Mets trade second baseman Daniel Murphy, who ranks among their most valuable position players, the contingencies would become more complex. Under that scenario, Alderson said the team would ideally host a Spring Training competition at second base, inviting Eric Young Jr., Wilmer Flores and perhaps even Ruben Tejada to joust for the spot.
"Could we do something? Yeah, I think we have that ability," Alderson said. "Whether we do it or not is a function of what we could get, what the other options may be for us now and later."
And what the resulting roster would look like. In the Mets' perfect world, Alderson will be able to deal either Davis or Duda for a shortstop or starting pitcher capable of helping immediately. But if the best deal available nets the Mets a haul of prospects instead, Alderson said he must be nimble enough to respond. In that example, the Mets could make the swap and use the money they saved on Davis or Duda to fill out their other needs via free agency.
In any case, there is the matter of completing a trade in the first place. Despite a glut of first basemen on his roster, Alderson has no desire simply to give one away. But for most teams, the Mets are just one option -- look at the Marlins, for example, who filled their first-base need Monday by agreeing on a two-year contract with Garrett Jones.
"There's always going to be an alternative," Alderson said. "And anybody who's negotiating a deal, whether it's the Mets or some other team, they're always looking at what their alternatives are. That's what provides the tension between getting something done and not getting something done -- simply that there are other options.
"If somebody's not inclined to make a deal for a particular player, it's difficult to talk them into it and get any kind of return, so it's usually not productive. ... In any deal, it depends on the fit."