Inbox: Make a deal or is Murphy the man?

Inbox: Make a deal or is Murphy the man?

The Mets are desperate for power and could use a solid first baseman. Is there any talk of them pursuing a trade with the Padres for Adrian Gonzalez?
-- Mike Z, Hoboken, N.J.

No one would mention Carlos Delgado or Daniel Murphy if the Mets were to acquire Gonzalez. He would provide Delgado's power and the best defense at first base since John Olerud. But the Mets also know how important Gonzalez is to the Padres franchise. A native of San Diego, he is their David Wright. Unless the Mets could pull off another Johan Santana swindle, I don't believe they have the personnel to trade for Gonzalez without creating other voids. He would be a perfect fit, though.

If Roy Halladay is available, I think the Mets should go get him. I would part with Fernando Martinez, Mike Pelfrey and John Maine. I think it's time to turn the page. I don't think Pelfrey will be Justin Verlander. He's overrated.
-- Chris, Middletown, N.Y.

So you want to deal Pelfrey and Maine. Are you advocating a four-man rotation?

Will the Mets pursue Rich Harden now that he has filed for free agency? What about trading for Alfonso Soriano to play left?
-- Tom W., Linden, N.J.

The Mets aren't guaranteed a return to playing .500 even with the expected return of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, and a return to form by David Wright. Their pitching depth remains an issue and will remain so even if they bring in a No. 2 starter. That pitcher shouldn't be Harden. He is a high-risk, high-reward pitcher. And what the Mets need is a highly-reliable starter.

Harden has made 25 and 26 starts the past two seasons, but pitched merely 289 innings in the process. He hasn't approached 200 innings since 2004.

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With Oliver Perez an issue, Santana coming back from surgery, and Maine and Pelfrey not as reliable as the Mets had hoped they would be at this juncture, the new man needs to be reliable.

Soriano is in a four-year decline, partially because of injuries. He has power, a commodity the Mets lack, but his defense is suspect, and I'm not sure he's a grinder. He has too many drawbacks for a player who is to earn $90 million over the next five seasons.

As far as first base goes, I know it's most likely the Mets will go with Murphy at first base. However, I notice there are some options at first base among the players who have filed for free agency. What do you think the chances are of getting someone like Chad Tracy, Aubrey Huff, Nick Johnson or Adam LaRoche? Personally,I think LaRoche would be a good alternative to Murphy.
-- Cody M., N.D.

LaRoche is the only player among those you have mentioned who, I think, would be a good fit. But the club's plan is to give Murphy a chance, add a right-handed-hitting first baseman with power to be the lesser half of a first-base platoon and wait for Ike Davis to develop.

Instead of the Mets going after Johnny Damon , they should re-sign Delgado for one year and try to get Jason Bay or Matt Holliday. Why waste their efforts on Damon when the Yankees are going to sign him? Go after Hideki Matsui. He would be the better Yankees player. He proved he can still play.
-- Michael G., Ridge, NJ

Did someone say the Mets are pursuing Damon? And if the Yankees are going to sign him, as you say, why even mention him? The Mets would like to have Holliday, and to a lesser degree, Bay. But Matsui is out of the question. He is a designated hitter now.

I believe Endy Chavez is a free agent this offseason. Is there any chance the Mets could sign him to be their fourth outfielder?
-- Joe S., Jersey City, N.J.

Chavez is a free agent, and one of best defensive outfielders anywhere. But the Mets have Angel Pagan, who is three years younger, significantly less expensive and switch-hitter. Plus he has more offensive skills. Their plan is to import a left fielder with power and use Pagan as their No. 4 outfielder. Pagan's unwise baserunning and lapses in the outfield make him a risk. If defense were the only factor, I'd take Chavez in a heartbeat. He was a better fit for the Mets team he played on than he is for the New York club of 2010.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.