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Mets make progress in 'pen, but work left to do

New York agrees with Swarzak at Meetings; still seeks 2B, 1B/OF hybrid
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- At the offseason's outset, the Mets made relief help their top priority. Seeking a fourth elite arm to pair with Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins at the back of their bullpen, New York browsed around before springing for right-hander Anthony Swarzak at the Winter Meetings.

That two-year, $14 million deal became official on Friday, helping the Mets accomplish their primary offseason goal. But much work remains for a team still seeking a second baseman and a first base/outfield hybrid.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- At the offseason's outset, the Mets made relief help their top priority. Seeking a fourth elite arm to pair with Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos and Jerry Blevins at the back of their bullpen, New York browsed around before springing for right-hander Anthony Swarzak at the Winter Meetings.

That two-year, $14 million deal became official on Friday, helping the Mets accomplish their primary offseason goal. But much work remains for a team still seeking a second baseman and a first base/outfield hybrid.

"I think we have to keep the bigger picture in mind," general manager Sandy Alderson said before departing the Meetings on Thursday. "By perhaps making some progress on the bullpen, we were able to focus a little more narrowly."

While it's possible the Mets will strike quickly on their next move, there's also a chance the process could drag into the New Year.

"That doesn't mean you have the same selection necessarily that you would have in, say, November or December," Alderson said. "But it doesn't mean that things won't accelerate over the next two weeks or so. It's hard to know what the calendar will demand, because we're not that far from Christmas. We'll just have to see how it all unfolds."

Hot Stove Tracker

What's next
When the Tigers traded Ian Kinsler to the Angels this week, it took an option off the board for a club that had negotiated with Detroit. The Mets are still candidates to acquire Cleveland's Jason Kipnis or Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison, among others in a buyer-friendly market. If all else fails, the Mets could re-sign Jose Reyes to play second.

Video: Duquette discusses Kinsler going to Angels

"It leaves us with a lot of other choices," Alderson said of the Kinsler deal. "We spent part of this morning looking at that position, reordering our options. There are still many different possibilities. We'll go home and keep an eye on that board, and see what transpires over the next few weeks."

Rule 5 Draft
With the sixth pick in the Rule 5 Draft, the Mets selected right-handed pitcher Burch Smith, before flipping him to the Royals for cash. New York later selected infielder Andrew Ely from the Cubs in the Minor League phase of the Draft, and it lost left-handed pitcher Jose Medina to the Padres.

2017 Rule 5 Draft results

GM's bottom line
"Just as I was reluctant to predict what would happen here, I'm reluctant to predict what will happen later, and when it will happen. It's just hard to predict. There are a lot of different possibilities, a lot of different combinations, and we're going to take a look at all of them. I think that the Meetings were helpful to help us resolve the bullpen situation and give us a little more clarity on options at other positions. So I think we're relatively happy going home." -- Alderson

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

New York Mets