In an article for the New York Daily News, Andy Martino wrote that the Mets are searching “for a veteran lefthanded bat for the bench, and [are] shopping in the aisle that includes Rick Ankiel, Kosuke Fukudome, Raul Ibanez and Johnny Damon.”
Right now Mike Baxter and Adam Loewen are the only candidates for a lefty bat off the bench, and neither of those two players are experienced in the slightest. Both players will most likely play for the Buffalo Bisons–the Mets Triple-A affiliate.
Here’s a breakdown on the players that Martino mentioned in his article:
Rick Ankiel unfortunately does not get on base very often. In fact, he only got on base 29.6% off the time in 2011. However, he provides a decent amount of pop off the bench, as he hit nine homeruns in 380 at-bats for the Nationals last season. He is a GREAT defensive player, and he has an incredible arm (being a former pitcher). So, needless to say, I am in favor of bringing in Ankiel as a fourth outfielder/lefty off the bench.
Kosume Fukudome has an awesome name. He’s also not a bad hitter. However, he is mainly a right fielder, who has played a little bit of center field in his career. Kukudome gets on base 34.2% off the time, but is not really a good defensive outfielder.
Raul Ibanez hit 20 homeruns, drove in 84 runs, and hit .245 last season. But, he also only got on base 28.9% of the time. Ibanez is an interesting player, but I doubt he becomes a Met because he will a.) cost to much and b.) want regular playing time.
Johnny Damon obviously used to be a great player, but now he literally cannot throw a baseball. He really cannot be trusted to play any other position other than the DH, which the Mets obviously do not have. Damon is still a solid hitter, but if Torres, Bay, or Duda injure themselves or just don’t perform, Damon cannot become an everyday outfielder anymore (at least that’s what I think).