11/20/12

Offseason Wish List - Kinsler, Gordon, d'Arnaud

7 comments

A big thank you to Mack for graciously asking me to post here on Mack’s Mets again.  Like all fans I have my thoughts as to what direction the team should go in this offseason.  When looking at the holes the Mets have in their lineup, the potential players available, and the realities of the team’s financial situation, I’d like to see the Mets pursue a reasonable but ambitious plan.  If 2014 is expected to be the year of serious contention, some groundwork needs to be put down this offseason.

I’d like to see the team aggressively go after (and eventually acquire) 2B Ian Kinsler of Texas, LF Alex Gordon of Kansas City, and a young catcher.

Kinsler is quickly becoming expendable in Texas.  With the emergence of Elvis Andrus and the impending arrival of Jurickson Profar, Kinsler is on deck to be replaced cheaply in the middle of the infield and at the top of the lineup.  He’ll be making an average of $15M per year through 2017.  The Rangers are a perennial contender and can leverage their positional advantage and deal away Kinsler to address other team needs.

Alex Gordon has finally lived up to his potential and become one of the most productive and best defensive LF in baseball.  He signed an extension with the Royals just last year, however there are now rumblings that he is available.  It makes sense, as KC is a small market team and Gordon takes up a considerable portion of their payroll even at $9M per year.  The Royals have created a pipeline of talent from their minor leagues and can replace Gordon, certainly over the long-term if not in the short-term.

Finally, it’s time the Mets addressed the catching situation on this team.  Thole is best-suited as a back-up and cannot carry the full-time duties.  My first choice is Travis d’Arnaud.  He’s one of the best overall catching prospects in baseball, proving strong defense and game-calling from behind the dish as well as a potent offensive game as well.  While d’Arnaud is the most valuable of the Jays’ catchers, it’s conceivable that he could be available.  With their recent blockbuster trade with the Marlins, it’s obvious that the Jays are making a big push for success in the here and now.  If they feel they are only a couple of pieces away from a championship-level club, they can deal d’Arnaud and live with Arencibia/Buck behind the plate.  Even if d’Arnaud is not the acquisition, the Mets should take the initiative to find a full-time solution at catcher this offseason.

The lineup would be :

2B Kinsler
LF Gordon
3B Wright
1B Davis
RF ---
Ca d’Arnaud
CF Nieuwenhuis
SS Tejada

SP1 Santana
SP2 Niese
SP3 Harvey
SP4 Wheeler (June)
SP5 ---

I haven’t addressed the RF situation because I feel that whomever would be playing there this year will not be starting in 2014.  As the player likely won’t be anyone of any serious consequence, I’m assuming the FO will find a placeholder and it’s not worth speculating on.  The same is true for the SP5 role.

I haven’t put forward presumptive trade packages for any of these players as I don’t know what each team would want in return.  What I do know is that the trade packages would be put together from a basket of players that includes (but not limited to) Dickey, Flores, Valdespin, Mejia, Familia, Duda, Murphy, Gee, and McHugh.  That’s why I constructed the lineup without Dickey, Duda, Murphy, and Gee.  The only thing I’m sure of is that if the Mets want to acquire multiple productive players via trade this offseason, then Dickey will be traded.  In fact, I could easily see him as the centerpiece in a trade for any of these 3 players.

For next offseason, Santana will be coming off the books if he isn’t traded at the deadline.  I think the team will then be in a position to add an SP1 or Ace, a power-hitting MOTO RF, and an SP5.  The team should have more financial flexibility to go after those needs next year and the remaining prospects will have (hopefully) taken another step forward, thus increasing their trade value.  Kinsler, Gordon, and d’Arnaud(?) will help to build the foundation for the team and allow the organization to find the finishing players next year.

7 comments:

Soto said...

Mike,

Unless Texas is willing to eat a lot of Ian Kinsler's contract there is no way that the Mets can carry that 15MM contract on the books for the next 5 years at a position that quite frankly is not in terrible shape with Murphy manning it.

I like Alex Gordon as a target and it looks like young pitching is what the Royals are looking for.....which the Mets have.

As for Travis D'Arnaud....he would be a Mets fan dream come true but Im sure the asking price would be too high for the Mets. Plus the Jays seem to be set at every position.

Anonymous said...

Your basket of players available for trade had best include Wheeler, or you won't get Gordon or d'Arnaud. You could probably get Kinsler without Wheeler, though, since his contract is so outlandish.

Soto said...

I think its possible to get Gordon without Wheeler.....perhaps Familia or Mejia, Valdespin, and another piece like Gee or McHugh.

Michael S. said...

Hey guys,

Thanks for taking the time to read and provide feedback. Your comments made me think about this a bit more.

With regard to acquiring Kinsler, I don't think it will take Wheeler because of his contract as Anonymous posted. Soto - I'm not as concerned about the $$ involved because it depends on how the overall team is structured. For instance, the lineup I posted comes in at about $72-$74M (without including the two lineup holes, bench, and bullpen). Also, keep in mind that Kinsler's contact is a bit much in the short-term, however it scales back down in 2016 and 2017 ($14M & $11M respectively) right at a time when the younger players will be looking for raises.

If Gordon can be acquired for Familia, Valdespin, and Gee, we take that and run with it.

With regard to d'Arnaud I could see Toronto moving him for Dickey. I don't see it as a straight up deal, but I could see d'Arnaud and a lesser prospect for Dickey and another player. The reason is that I think the Blue Jays want to win BIG and NOW. Adding a Cy Young winner to a newly-strengthened rotation will catapult them into the top tier of American League teams.

Taking your comments into account, that could bring -

NYM - d'Arnaud, prospect
TOR - Dickey, Murphy

NYM - Gordon
KC - Familia, Valdespin, Gee

NYM - Kinsler
TEX - Duda, Mejia, +

The Toronto deal is based on the reasoning given above, the Gordon deal is straight from Soto, and the Kinsler deal is based on Anonymous's comment about getting him for less because of his contract. That could be a brilliant haul.

Soto said...

Maybe its just me.....but I have a hard time parting with RA Dickey. Forget the wins and K's and other statistical value.

Think about the great mentoring he would provide to Wheeler, Harvey, and McHugh. For that reason alone I keep him for the next two years.

Anonymous said...

It's not that I want to deal Dickey, but given his age, contract, the Mets' inability to sign free agents, the system's pitching depth, and the team's many needs it makes sense to deal him...especially considering his inflated value as a Cy Young winner.

Michael S. said...

A quick note from Joel Sherman (I know, to be taken with a grain of salt) - After speaking with rival GM's Sherman reports that if the Mets were to grant an acquiring team a window to negotiate an extension with Dickey that they would increase their return in trade.

He also notes that the Blue Jays are still looking for a T.O.R. pitcher and that Dickey fits the bill. Sherman states that in the case that the Mets were to trade Dickey to Toronto the Blue Jays might be more willing to surrender players such as d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, Arencibia, and Sanchez.

If the Mets could swing a deal with Toronto and receive d'Arnaud and Syndergaard or Sanchez, they could really be in business. I could see a 3-team deal such as:

NYM - Gordon, d'Arnaud
KC - Syndergaard, Familia, Valdespin
TOR - Dickey

In this case, the Mets would receive Gordon and d'Arnaud for Dickey, Familia, and Valdespin. They could address two glaring lineup holes, preserve their pitching depth and major prospects.

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