Two major league officials told me the Mets are shopping Gary Matthews Jr., and the Reds could be a possibility.
If the Mets do find a trade partner for Gary Matthews Jr., and who they would get in return is fodder for another post, who would take his likely spot on the 25-man roster?
Chris Carter, who is simply tearing the cover off the ball to the tune of .444/.500/1.056 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI, can play corner outfield spots, but isn’t a centerfielder. He’s also somewhat in the running for the first base spot, but he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning out over Daniel Murphy, Mike Jacobs and Fernando Tatis.
Fernando Martinez, the Mets young and exciting prospect, has been tabbed to start the season in the minor leagues. F-Mart, who is also having a fantastic spring (.447/.439/.868, 3 HR, 11 RBI), can play center field and would be able to take over for Angel Pagan if needed. (Pagan, obviously, is the starting centerfielder with Carlos Beltran out.)
An older option would be Frank Catalanotto. Catalanotto, who has played nearly every position (except CF), would be another option if the corner outfield spots were needed. But again, he doesn’t have any CF experience and at his age, speed isn’t a strong suit.
Other options might be Jason Pridie or someone the Mets might get in the GMJ trade. With Pagan’s injury history and this short list of possible, but not very good replacement candidates, if the Mets have the foresight to think about this before they make the trade, they might not be dealing GMJ anytime soon.