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Mets hope to continue busy offseason at Meetings

SAN DIEGO -- For weeks, the Mets have talked of their plan to search for a shortstop upgrade, the most significant piece remaining in what they foresee as a critical offseason. Now, with boots on the ground in San Diego, they can finally accelerate that process.

The Winter Meetings are officially set to begin on Monday morning and run through Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. Gathering all 30 general managers and scores of agents together in a single locale, the Meetings are traditionally a cauldron of action for teams looking to make moves.

"Things can happen quickly here," general manager Sandy Alderson said Sunday, shortly after landing in San Diego.

The Mets certainly qualify as a team looking to act. Already this offseason, Alderson has inked Michael Cuddyer to a two-year deal, eschewing a first-round Draft pick to acquire the outfield bat he craved. Now, Alderson is in search of an upgrade over Wilmer Flores at shortstop, a second lefty reliever to complement Josh Edgin and a bench bat for the outfield. The Winter Meetings should help him along in his pursuit of all three.

Plenty of additional action will also take place in and around Gaslamp Quarter. When manager Terry Collins addresses the media at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, he will discuss how he intends to fit Cuddyer into the lineup, as well as what he thinks about the shortstop situation. Collins became as much a part of the Mets' rebirth as anyone when the team inked him to a two-year extension with a team option for a third year after the 2013 season.

The coverage of that, along with Alderson's daily thoughts, will appear on throughout this week. Be sure to use the comment section at the end of each story to sound off with your own opinions on the shortstop situation or anything else.

Last year at the Winter Meetings, the Mets introduced free-agent signing Curtis Granderson amid much fanfare, then went on to sign pitcher Bartolo Colon, as well. Two years ago, the team held a news conference announcing David Wright's eight-year deal.

Stay tuned, in other words. At the Winter Meetings, unexpected things can, do and almost certainly will happen.

"We always go into the Winter Meetings with an open mind," Alderson said. "That's certainly how we enter this week, with an open mind. There are obviously ways to improve our team, some more obvious than others. But we'll see what develops over the course of the week."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo.
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