Mets Notebook: Mets not done shopping, Wilmer Flores, Terry Collins has a plan

General manager Sandy Alderson knows his plan to turn the Mets back into contenders will be impacted greatly by the moves he’s recently made to upgrade the roster. Alderson’s strategic approach received a financial boost from  Mets ownership this winter that allowed him to spend money in free agency that hasn’t been available during his time on the job.

While it remains to be seen if the upgrades made by the Mets payoff in the win column, and with spring training quickly approaching, Alderson has made it known he’s still looking for more players. The Mets are reportedly sitting around $85 million in payroll currently, so whatever additional shopping Alderson has in mind will be done most likely with that in mind.

Another day has gone by and Stephen Drew remains on the free agent market. The chances of Drew signing with the Mets appear to be getting slimmer by the day with Alderson recently calling it “unlikely” to happen.

Opportunity could be knocking this spring for infield prospect Wilmer Flores. Alderson tells MLB.com that Flores could get a look this spring playing back in his natural position at shortstop.

Mets manager Terry Collins provided some insight on who might be batting leadoff for him on opening day. Collins told the Mets television network that Eric Young Jr. is his primary leadoff candidate at this point. The key phrase in that sentence is at this point — a lot can change during the spring. The Mets have Juan Lagares as a strong option for center field because of his defense, if he can show improvement with the bat it could change the thinking of Collins. According to Collins, Lagares and free agent addition Chris Young will compete for center field in Spring Training.

Collins also made it clear he intends to get embattled first baseman Ike Davis twice as many at bats during Spring Training than he got last year in hopes of helping him avoid another slow start … Lucas Duda will be in the conversation for first base this spring, however he could also be part of an outfield platoon … Jonathon Niese will likely be the opening day starter. Collins is “leaning towards” going with Niese again and went as far as to describe him as the team’s “ace of the staff” … Collins intends to stick with his vision of new Met Curtis Granderson protecting David Wright in the batting order.

Follow OPSN contributor Anthony Rushing on Twitter for more updates @ANTHONY_JVILLE

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