The Mets' offseason shopping needs are clear: Jose Reyes, a reliever or two, a catcher, bodies for the bench and perhaps a center fielder. And while Sandy Alderson has spent several weeks engaging both agents and rival teams, he does not yet know if the free-agent or trade market will be more efficient this winter.

"I don't have a good feel for the trade market, because I don't think that we will know much about that market until we get to Dallas," the Mets general manager said Thursday on a conference call to preview the winter meetings, which begin Monday in Dallas. "I don't think that the trade market is well-developed at this point ... I think the two markets are related."