New York Mets free agency: Who to keep, who to let go

Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

The end of the World Series means the beginning of free agency, but for the New York Mets, that's likely not going to equate to much. General manager Sandy Alderson has already indicated that the 2013 payroll won't be much different from the past year's, meaning any big free-agent splashes are unlikely.

That being said, the Mets do have a group of "affordable" free agents of their own to make decisions on this offseason. Below is their list and whether I'd try to retain the player or let him go.

[Related: What is David Wright worth?]

Ronny Cedeno: The 29-year-old is nothing more than a run-of-the-mill middle-infield option. In 186 plate appearances, Cedeno had a .259/.332/.410 slash line and he wasn't particularly great in the field. There's a number of other utility-types on the market who the Mets can get at their price. Let him go.

Scott Hairson: This is probably the toughest one on the list. Hairston provided nice pop -- 20 home runs, 57 RBI -- in limited time but he's really just a platoon player (.286/.317/.550 vs. lefties to .239/.281/.457 vs. lefties last year.) Ultimately, though, the Mets are not going to be able to sign him for $1.1 million after one of his best seasons. Because he's priced himself out of the the Mets' budget with so many other holes to address, I say: Let him go.

Kelly Shoppach: There have already been reports of the Mets not being too happy with Shoppach's play. In 79 at bats after coming to New York, he hit three homeruns and had a .233/.276/.342 line. Though it's not like the catching market is plentiful, there's enough right-handed hitting options that can perform (at least) like that, so I'd say: Let him go.

Jon Rauch: It's not that a year with a 3.59 ERA, .99 WHIP, 42 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings was bad. I'm just not a fan of spending considerable money on a middle reliever who has never been all that dominant, especially when he was up and down and dealt with a cranky throwing elbow. Unless he comes cheaper than $3.5 million, I let him go.

Ramon Ramirez: When the righty came over from the San Francisco Giants, the Mets thought they were getting a solid middle reliever. Instead, he had one of his worst seasons with a 4.24 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. The Mets' bullpen was such a disaster this year thus I think it's time to turn the page on anyone they can, so I say: Let him go.

Chris Young: The giant right-hander pitched the most innings since 2007, throwing 115 and compiling a 4.15 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 6.26 K/9. While the Mets seem to have a solid core in their rotation, there are still some question marks and possible trades this offseason that could alter things. Nothing Young does is flashy, but as a fifth/sixth starter who will come cheap, I say: See what it takes to bring him back.

Tim Byrdak: Surgery to a torn anterior capsule on his left shoulder and one to clean up torn meniscus cartlage in his right knee means Byrdak is going to miss most of the 2013 season and makes this one easy. Let him go.

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