In my opinion McLouth is a perfect choice as the "stop-gap" BUT i still would give Kirk a very good shot to come into Spring Training to try to win the starting job. If he does win then McLouth becomes a great 4th outfielder/left handed bat/defensive replacement off the bench and Pridie gets DFA'd. If he doesnt win then send him to AAA, McLouth starts and Pridie is the 4th outfielder albeit not as good of a one as McLouth would be.
With that in mind, the Mets could also give F-Mart a chance to compete as well. He's already on the 40 man roster so his Rule 5 clock is ticking so you might as well. There is NEVER any harm in Spring Training competition and I think CF could be a particularly interesting fight in March.
You know, it’s funny you mentioned four different centerfielders (McLouth, Nieuwenhuis, Pridie, Martinez) and, in my opinion, Angel Pagan is better than all of them.
One important thing to know at this point in Martinez’ career. He is no longer considered a centerfield candidate. His arthritic legs can’t cover the range needed for that position.
Nieuwenhuis had major surgery and it will take the lion share of the 2012 season for him to return to form. Some question his defensive range while others criticize his strikeout ratio.
The next closest centerfielder in the system is Matt den Dekker who is two years away.
McLouth is one of many short term fixes that could help, but only if it’s a one year contract. He’s been a complete bust in Atlanta and the Mets already have plenty of players that can produce 16 runs batted in.
I truly believe that the Mets will leave their long range plans of this position to next year’s free agent crop.