Trading Places: Who the New York Mets should move at the trade deadline

2018 has not be the Mets year. As the New York Mets continue to fall out of contention it is clear that they will not be in contention this year and should be sellers in order to replenish their depleted farm system. However, in my most recent podcast (click here) I discussed why New York shouldn’t trade their ace Jacob deGrom and they would not get a full return if they also moved on from Noah Syndergaard at the deadline. While these names would surely get the biggest hauls at the deadline, the Mets have other pieces they can move for future prospects.

 

Asdrubal Cabrera: 2B

Cabrera is playing like an All Star and the Mets should capitalize on his value

Cabrera has been one of the few Mets that has lived up to expectations this season. At 32, Cabrera is playing at an All Star level being top five in both home runs and RBIs among second baseman this season. Despite being a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, his value comes from his offense and versatility. Despite the woeful order around him, Cabrera is on pace for one of his best offensive seasons ever and unlike previous years has not had any nagging injuries hampering him this season.

The contract and injury history may decrease Cabrera’s value, but he adds versatility to a contender with his flexibility to not only play second. Cabrera has played third base and second for the Mets and could easily fit into either of those roles. He could even play shortstop, but at this age he is better off at the other two positions but gives a team the ability to plug him into three infield positions adding value as both a starter or utility man for a team with World Series aspirations.

 

Todd Frazier: 3B

Like last season, Frazier could be moving at the trade deadline.

Cabrera undoubtedly has more value than Frazier at this point but don’t be surprised if the Mets end up shopping their third baseman as well. This team would probably be looking to shop Jay Bruce at this deadline if he wasn’t hurt and producing. More likely Frazier will be a salary dump with the Mets on the hook for 2019 after the $ 17 Million dollar deal this past offseason.

Money has always been an issue with the Mets and a salary dump could open up the hot corner in the upcoming offseason. The team could look to give Wilmer Flores a full-time role at third in the second half to see if he can be penciled in for their starting third baseman in 2019. Could the Mets keep Frazier because he is under contract and they don’t have a prospect pushing the hot corner position? It certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility but the team could look at this chance to dump salary.

Despite being on the Disabled list this season, Frazier has nearly matched his home run and RBI totals from last season at the midway point in the season. He may not have starting value like Cabrera, Frazier could be an appealing bench or role player for a playoff contender.

 

Zack Wheeler: Pitcher

Wheeler has been gaining traction on the trade market and the Mets should take advantage.

While deGrom and Syndergaard have been the big names getting the attention at the deadline the Mets could potentially trade another starting pitcher for prospects and that is Zack Wheeler. Despite not having the pedigree of the later two, there are a few reasons why the Mets could deal Wheeler. According to New York Times writer James Wagner teams have been reportedly calling the Mets about Wheeler in trade discussion.

This could be the perfect time to deal Wheeler for multiple reasons. First, it’s a weak starters market at the deadline and the Mets could get more for Wheeler then they bargained for. Second, Wheeler is peaking at the right time with his fastball in the upper 90s and a 3.38 ERA over his last eight starts. Third, he has had a long injury history missing two full seasons with the Mets and is 28 years old. Finally, he will be a free agent after 2019 and as noted both in this article and the previous podcast the Mets probably won’t be looking to break the bank for a career 23-29 starter as of July first.

With an expiring contract approaching and a long injury history, of the Mets can get prospects for Wheeler this is the time to do it. The team could look to deal him in the offseason, but personally I would be wary of Wheeler’s injury history and if he misses any time later in the season that will only diminish his value.

Some may be wondering with not Steven Matz? If there are offers the Mets should listen but here’s why I don’t see the Mets moving on from him. First, he’s a year younger then Wheeler. Second, his contract has him under the Mets control until 2022. Third, he’s a lefty in a rotation that has struggled to find a great left handed starter since Johan Santana. Finally, despite both having injury problems Matz hasn’t had the serious arm injuries like Wheeler where Wheeler has missed two full seasons with the Mets.

 

Jose Bautista: OF

The Mets brought in Bautista off the scrap heap, now it’s time to recycle.

Like Frazier, Bautista won’t bring back a haul of prospects but the Mets need bodies in their minor league organization and would be smart to take advantage of Bautista’s recent play. After picking up the 37-year-old off the scrap heap from the Atlanta Braves, Bautista has taken advantage of playing time with the Mets hitting .266 with three home runs and 13 RBIs since joining the club.

It’s clear that his skillset has diminished but he could be a valuable fourth outfielder for a postseason contender at a low asking price. Bautista could give a team a right-handed bat off the bench against lefties or be a spot starting outfielder if necessary. Contractually it would be easy to move Bautista and the Mets would take a mid to low range prospect in return. Not to mention the Mets might consider bringing up a certain Heisman Winner to play the outfield in August. Stranger things have happened to the Mets this season.

Jeurys Familia

With free agency for Familia at the end of the season, the Mets should get some value back for the former All Star closer.

If the Mets traded Familia the first reaction from the fanbase would probably be it’s about time! After an All Star campaign in 2016, Familia has not been the same closer and will hit the free agency market after the season at 28 years old. Sounding like a broken record again the Mets are stingy for the money and will not want to pay the high price tag for a closer that has been regressing over the past two years.

Still, with the premium on relievers especially for the postseason Familia could be a valuable piece for the Mets to move especially with the unlikelihood he will be back in Queens for 2019. Even if he won’t be the closer, Familia could become a seventh or eighth inning role player for a playoff team moving forward. Despite four blown saves this season, Familia still has 14 saves and a ERA just over three. It’s hard to find power back-end of the bullpen relievers on the market and the Mets could look to make a swap similar to what they did with the Red Sox when they dealt Addison Reed last season.

 

 

Why the New York Mets should bring “Big Sexy” back

The 2018 New York Mets cannot catch a break. When their pitching is lights out, the offense can’t buy a hit. Vice versa when the Mets offensive has has momentary spurts in this campaign it has been promptly followed by poor starts or bullpen implosions. To top it off the injury plague that has lingered around Flushing in recent years has claimed most of the team’s top talent including most recently Noah Syndergaard.

With the Mets trading the former superhero of Gotham in Matt Harvey to Cincinnati, the Mets rotation after Jacob deGrom has been more abysmal then Labor Day traffic. With all of the problems the Mets have had in the rotation the team could use an inning eater in the rotation and they could look into bringing back a fan favorite to a demoralized fan base. The New York Mets should trade for Bartolo “Big Sexy” Colon.

Colon was productive in his three seasons with the Mets going 44-34 and helping the team reach the World Series (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

On the surface it shouldn’t be too difficult. The Rangers are off the a abysmal start and have Colon on a reasonable one year $ 1.75 Million deal. Colon would benefit from pitching in the National league again and more importantly save a bullpen that has been overworked in the beginning of this season. With five of his nine starts for the Rangers going over seven innings, Colon is perfect for the backend of this Mets rotation that has been plagued by short starts all season.

Colon would be an immediate improvement behind deGrom and Syndeergaard. Take a look at how Colon compares the the Mets three through five starters in the rotation.

W L IP ERA GS WHIP GS > 7 IP
Colon 2 2 63.1 3.55 9 0.93 5
Wheeler 2 4 50 5.4 9 1.48 1
Matz 2 3 45.2 3.55 10 1.27 0
Vargas 2 3 25.1 8.53 6 1.85 0

Colon has more starts over seven innings then these three combined while also having over 13 additional innings pitched to the next closest state. On top of that, he would own the best WHIP on the team and be tied has a far better ERA then both Wheeler and Vargas.

The Mets would be bringing back not only a player that has a proven track record in New York, but a fan favorite

Even though the Mets probably would not move Vargas to the bullpen given the massive contract he signed in the offseason, the Mets could try to turn Wheeler into a reliever which could push his 94.77 fastball average a few ticks higher being in a shorter role. The team tried this with Harvey, but Wheeler could benefit from shorter appearances in games and it has helped both Gsellman and Lugo become key pieces of the Mets bullpen.

Seeing what the ageless wonder is doing in the American League and what would be a low asking price, it makes sense for the Mets bring back Bartolo Colon and put him in the backend of the rotation. In a perfect world, if the Mets have five healthy starters Colon has proven that he can be a versatile reliever out of the pen if the Mets can get Wheeler, Matz, and Vargas healthy and pitching up to their potential.

In the short-term though, Colon instantly improves the back end of the rotation, but also has handled the pressure in the Big Apple and who would be a great influence in the locker room.

With the current state of the Mets rotation, it only makes sense for New York to bring Big Sexy back.

Wheeler and Dealing? New York Mets shopping Wheeler

The New York Mets could be moving one of their best young arms at the MLB trade deadline. With an abundance of young arms, and Matt Harvey returning next season, the Mets are strongly hinting that they will trade some of this young pitching to bring in a bat or two for a team whose lineup resembles that of a Triple A squad.

According to our sources the Mets have been in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs. It appears the Mets could be moving the highly touted Zach Wheeler to the Cubs

Wheeler to the Cubs?

Wheeler to the Cubs?

for an everyday player of two. One key position the Mets need a desperate upgrade in is shortstop. Fortunately for New York, the Cubs have an abundance of players at the shortstop position.

One player the Cubs are reportedly offering is current major league shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro, who is 24, is having a solid season hitting .280 with 11 homers and 52 RBIs. He would instantly improve the Mets woeful offense by providing a good young bat in the lineup who not only is still improving at the plate, but would give the Mets an everyday shortstop who plays very good defense.

Castro is a great option for the Mets, but could there be other players on the table? Sources say the Mets will also explore some of the Cubs top prospects instead of just one everyday player.

The Cubs are loaded with talented young prospects, especially at the shortstop position. Javier Baez, the team’s top prospect, is knocking on the door at Triple A with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs. Baez might not be a top of the order player but could be the big power bat the Mets are desperate for. Another reason the Mets could be targeting Baez is that they could possibly get another piece in the deal.

The Cubs have three very good outfield prospects that could be nice pieces in the Mets outfield. However, if New York could also get Arismendy Alcantara, another triple A player on the major league border, they could have a middle infield set for the next decade. Alcantara could be a solid second baseman who hits for a high average and steals bases. A perfect top of the order player that would be nice with either Baez or Castro in the middle of the lineup.

Bartolo Colon will probably be dealt first, but keep and eye on the Mets and Cubs. Both have prospects in key areas of need for the other team and have excess prospects that could be moved. The Mets need bats, Chicago has bats, New York has pitching, the Cubs need pitching. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Now we wait until July 31st to see if something happens.

Times Up! Why Sandy Alderson must be fired

Sandy Alderson needs to be fired

Sandy Alderson needs to be fired

Meet the mess! Meet the mess! Opponents step on up and beat the Mets! Sandy Alderson needs to be fired by the New York Mets as he has driven this proud franchise further into the abyss. Many people will argue that his failings are not completely his fault, evidenced by the penny-pinching Wilpons whose finances have been in tatters since the Bernie Madoff scandal. Ownership is a major part of the problem, but unfortunately the Wilpons have been adamant about not selling the team. In his four years as the general manager the Mets have been an embarrassment. The Mets under Alderson have a 247-289 record after the Memorial Day weekend.

Why does Sandy need to go? There has to be a shakeup to show that losing is no longer acceptable. Despite the money problems, the Mets still have an above average payroll and had money to spend this past offseason. Once again, Alderson did little to improve this team. I won’t even go into the embarrassing state of the Mets bullpen during Alderson’s tenure. It’s been a joke. Look, I understand that the Mets do not have the Yankees money and also believe that developing prospects is the best way to improve but the Mets have failed completely in both regards. They have not spent money, and if they have unwisely, or developed good young players. Let’s look back at Alderson’s track record.

Fixing the Mets bullpen? Something that every year Alderson says he is going to do but come April Mets’ fans start praying the second Terry Collins comes to take the ball from the starter. One word, disaster. Bringing in pieces through free agency? If anything the Mets have lost more pieces in free agency then gained. They lost Jose Reyes, a great homegrown piece and waited until the past offseason to open the checkbook. While I did like the Granderson and Colon signings, those were the only two good signing the Mets made. They did not bring in a short stop or capable relievers and instead spent 7.5 million dollars on Chris Young? Chris Young? Seriously? Alderson, Shin Soo Choo and Stephen Drew were available at reasonable prices. Young is an overrated player and has been outplayed by Bobby Abreu who will probably be playing shuffle board in Florida next year.

Despite their failure in free agency, the big reason Alderson should be fired is because of his failure to develop young talent. When he was hired that was what he sold Mets fans. He may not be a proactive member in free agency but he sold Mets fans that he would build through prospects. What has he done? Matt Harvey was drafted in the former regime and he’s the only excitement the Mets have experienced in the past four years. Zach Wheeler? A lot of upside but has been spinning his wheels in the majors. Travis d’Arnaud? He’s struggled with injury and hitting as an everyday player. Noah Syndergaard? May need tommy john surgery. While the starting pitching has been a strength there are no major leaguers in terms of everyday players that can contribute. Lucas Duda and Ike Davis have been a disaster at first, there is no shortstop, and the outfield has been such a disaster that the government should be sending the Mets funds.

Looking back at Alderson’s tenure the biggest failure was the mishandling of Jose Reyes. Alderson had two scenarios. Sign Reyes long-term or trade him for prospects. That failure not only left the Mets without their dynamic home-grown shortstop, but also without pieces that could be helping them in the present.

Alderson has not built this team the Wright way

Alderson has not built this team the Wright way

The Mets are a disaster, plain and simple. Not only has Alderson failed to change the roster, but more importantly the culture. The Mets were losers when Alderson arrived and are still losers. In a city with so much passion for its sports teams, mediocrity is not acceptable. New York needs a change. Not only should Alderson be shown the door, but also Terry Collins. Collins deserves much less of the blame, but this organization needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom. That also means the owners, although that will probably never happen. Hey New Yorkers! Are there any billionaires interested in a franchise? Please buy the Mets we need a savior! Ok that was a hail mary, but the Mets should be completely overhauled. Start spending money on players and focus on finding everyday players who can contribute. The Mets may not be any closer to the postseason since Alderson took over, but if they want to take a step forward instead of back tracking into obscurity, he needs to go.

The Mets can hire and fire staff and bring in new players, but the most important thing that the Mets need to bring back to their fans the most important thing any professional franchise needs, hope.

 

Ace of Flushing: Mets have found their next star

Harvey could be the first of the new generation K

Harvey could be the first of the new generation K

Despite their past decade of futility good times could be ahead for the Metropolitans. Every World Series in club history had a flame throwing ace on the staff. In 69 it was Seaver, in 86 it was Doc, but in the present it is Matt Harvey. Harvey burst onto the scene last season, but their were still questions to whether he was one of the best young guns in the game. Considered that question emphatically answered. This season Harvey is 4 and 0 in his first five starts with a terrific 1.54 ERA. In thirty-five innings of work the 24-year-old has struck out an impressive 39 batters. What makes him so good? A confidence and composure well beyond his years and an astounding repertoire with a fastball in the high nineties, a knee buckling high eighties slider, and both an above average curveball and change-up. While many Met fans still believe that Zach Wheeler will be the next ace in flushing, that ace might already be here. While I still think Wheeler will be astounding when he eventually reaches the show, it will be hard to have the success that Harvey has already achieved. In fact in might be an act to tough to follow and if Wheeler should stumble that could raise the question why can’t you be more like Harvey? Despite trading their ace and CY Young Award winner R.A. Dickey this offseason, Harvey could be a 20 game winner this season and possible bring back to back CY Youngs to the big apple. Being a Met fan there hasn’t been too much to cheer for this past decade. While it was hard to lose both Dickey and Santana this offseason the possibility of a Harvey Wheeler one two punch at the top of the rotation could put the Mets in contention much sooner than the flushing faithful think. One thing is for certain this Generation K the Mets are developing could bring the glory and respect back to an organization that has gone through the ringer. I know one thing, I’m counting the days until Harvey takes the mound again.