South Korean slugger Jung-Ho Kang is posted and available. But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said on Tuesday that it's unlikely the team will submit a bid for the shortstop's negotiating rights.
"Not saying we won't make a bid," Alderson said. "But I'd say right now it's less likely."
The Mets harbor the same concerns of many scouts, who have doubts about whether Kang's production will translate when he makes the move to Major League Baseball. Kang's range, and whether he can stick at shortstop, is also a question mark.
Kang, 27, hit .356/.459/.739 with 40 homers and 117 RBIs in 117 games for the Nexen Heroes of the hitter-friendly Korean Baseball Organization.
Teams have until 5 p.m. Friday to submit bids for Kang's negotiating rights, though industry sources said it's unclear how much he will command.
Alderson reiterated that Wilmer Flores likely will be the Mets' opening day shortstop, even though his defense also raises questions.
The Mets appear to be heading into a lull in the offseason. Their search for an upgrade at shortstop could drag into January, as could their pursuit of another lefthanded reliever to compliment Josh Edgin.
The Mets also have continued some discussions about trading one of their veteran pitchers.
"We've had some conversations but not specifically about pitching per say," Alderson said. "Just some general conversations but not many."