Sandy Alderson says it is "safe to say" the prospect of losing a second round draft pick will not prevent the Mets from signing a free agent who turned down a qualifying offer, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Alderson, the New York Mets general manager, says that discussions on whether the price of a draft pick is too much are closed. Typically, a team signing a player who received a qualifying offer would be required to lose their first round pick in the next year's draft. However, the top ten draft slots are protected and those teams must instead drop their second round. The Mets hold the tenth overall selection in the 2014 draft.
Whether the Mets are targeting a specific player that fits this criteria is not known. It appears unlikely that the team will compete in 2014 without a significant overhaul of their roster. Ace pitcher Matt Harvey will miss all of 2014 due to Tommy John surgery and New York has made it known they are willing to trade nearly anyone on the roster.
It's possible the Mets could sign a player with an eye beyond 2014. By beginning to sign key players now, the team could surprise in 2015 when Harvey returns. The Mets would have to find a player they believe will help the team long-term if they do sign a free agent.
There are 13 players on the free agent market who have received qualifying offers. Among those the Mets could be particularly interested in are Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Curtis Granderson, Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez.