New York Mets News

Brett Gardner Extension An Example That You Can’t “Wait” For Free Agent Classes

By Danny Abriano

A familiar refrain used by those who don’t want the Mets to sign Stephen Drew is that the club should simply “wait for next year’s free agent class.”  The problem with that idea is that some or all of the shortstops who are eligible for free agency after this season may not get there.

Sep 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy (2) singles in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Take today’s Brett Gardner extension as an example of what may happen to some or all of the high impact shortstops whose free agency is pending.

While he isn’t a shortstop, Gardner is a player some Mets fans talked about signing next offseason.  I wasn’t in favor of signing Gardner, but what the Yankees did by locking him up before free agency is something other teams will likely look to do with their key pending free agents.

Presently, Asdrubal Cabrera, J.J. Hardy, Jed Lowrie, and Hanley Ramirez are all slated to hit free agency after the 2014 campaign.

All four of those players would be an upgrade for the Mets, but there’s no guarantee that any of them will be on the market next winter.

The Dodgers have a bottomless pit of money and have spoken of their desire to retain Ramirez, and the Orioles and Hardy are interested in working out an extension.

The futures of Cabrera and Lowrie are less certain, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they were dealt during the season and signed extensions with a potential acquiring team.

It’s always fun to project who may be available and what might happen in future offseasons, but the availability of players can never be relied on.

The Mets shouldn’t sign Stephen Drew because they’re afraid the shortstop market will be barren next year.  At the same time, shying away from him while banking on players who may not be available would be just as foolish.

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