Jason Pridie and Nick Evans Clear Waivers
According to EspnNewYork.com’s Adam Rubin, Mets‘ outfielder Jason Pridie and utility-player Nick Evans cleared waivers on Friday and
are officially free agents may opt for free agency. A few days earlier, Pridie and Evans had been outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, which means that now they are off of the Mets’ 40-man roster and are free to sign with any team.
Releasing Pridie and Evans is a puzzling move by Sandy Alderson as the one thing that isn’t present on the Mets’ roster currently is depth at any position. Pridie was mediocre at best last season but played solid defense at all three outfield positions.
Pridie committed only two errors on a total of 124 chances in the outfield in 2011. These numbers amount to a very respectable .984 fielding percentage for Pridie’s 2011 season.
Evans, on the other hand, played well on both sides of the spectrum in 2011. In a total of 408 chances while playing at first base, third base, left field, and right field in 2011, Evans committed at total of three errors. Nick’s stellar fielding led him to a wonderful .993 fielding percentage.
Evans was also crucial to the Mets toward the end of last season as he manned first base very well in Ike Davis’ absence. Davis, the Mets’ starting first baseman, hurt his ankle seriously in May of last season and wound up missing the last four months of the 2011 season.
Evans was able to recoup some of the power the Mets missed due to Davis’ injury by coming through with runners in scoring position. In RISP chances, Nick hit .279 batting average, driving in 22 runs.
Another reason Evans was a questionable release was his versatility. Last season, Nick played a total of four positions (as stated above) and any team, including the Mets, would love to have a homegrown player with Evans’ versatility.
All in all, if the Mets are unable to re-sign Pridie and Evans during this offseason, they are going to have to look around for suitable replacements in the 2011 free-agent pool.
One solid candidate who fits the requirement of versatility the Mets will be looking for is Michael Cuddyer. The former Twin has experience playing at first and second base in addition to the corner outfield positions. Cuddyer would definitely provide some pop for the Mets outfield and is relatively sure-handed in the field. However, Cuddyer is highly coveted by several other clubs, including the Phillies, so signing him could prove challenging.
Another player the Mets could be looking at is former National outfielder Rick Ankiel. Ankiel only plays the outfield (though Mets fans may remember a failed experiment at pitcher) but he could replace Pridie and possibly free-agent Willie Harris, as a fourth or fifth outfielder for the 2012 Mets. Ankiel is a plus fielder and occasionally flashes some power. Ankiel and Cuddyer would be two nice pick-ups for the Mets’ front-office should they go in that direction.