According to a tweet by Washington Nationals beat writer William Ladson just before he left for the winter meetings, the Mets may be interested in Josh Willingham.
Though there are concerns about his defensive skills, Willingham certainly fits the description of “left fielder who can hit with power”. He hit 26 HRs and 29 doubles last year in only 427 ABs, and walked 61 times. That power and patience more or less negates his habit of swinging and missing (104 Ks), but is it enough to make up for his defensive deficiencies?
Look at it this way: this time last year, the Mets had penciled in Daniel Murphy as the starting left fielder, with Fernando Tatis as his primary backup. That said, Willingham may be inferior to other MLB leftfielders, but would represent an upgrade in ALL areas compared to last year’s plan for the position.
In other news, Jack Cust will likely be non-tendered by the A’s now that Jake Fox is Oakland’s property (wow, Fox would’ve been a nice pickup for the Mets … oh well). At least one source indicates the Mets may be interested in the NJ native. But, Cust makes Willingham look like a Gold Glove candidate, and I’m not sure his around .800 OPS and homerun power can counteract both the bad glove and the one whiff per three plate appearances he’s produced in the past two years.
By the way, Willingham has catching experience. And we know the Mets can use another catcher.