Mack Ade – 2014 OF Watch
If everything we have been telling you is correct… this list is where at least one of the future Mets outfielders will come from[i]. I think it will be two. You will, first, have opportunities to trade during the season Johan Santana, Shawn Marcum, and John Buck, and then, you can package some of your young pitchers in the off-season.
Sandy and Company loves team controlled players and here they are. Simply put, they are more talented than any Mets outfielder in the dugout.
Are they available? Well, who knows at this point, but let’s do a little checking on each of them vs. how the current team breaks out:
3 - Oscar Taveras, OF (STL) – Tavares is the top outfield prospect which, on the surface, means he’s probably untouchable; however, that’s what they once said about both Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud. We just have to keep tract of these players, their teams, and who they sign in the next off season. For now, St. Louis has LFF Matt Holliday signed through 2017 and that’s it. Tavares’ ETA: 2014.
4 - Wil Myers, OF (TB) – Could Myers actually be traded again? No, he’ll settle into the Tampa Bays system for many, many years.
11 - Billy Hamilton, OF (CIN) – Hamilton is the fastest shortstop in baseball. This year, he will be the fastest outfielder. This will probably slow down his ETA to 2015, which fits the teams needs better. RF Jay Bruce is signed through 2016, and RF Ryan Ludwick’s contract ends at the end of the 2015 season. This leaves CF wide open for Hamilton.
13 - Christian Yelich, OF (MIA) – Miami doesn’t have a single long term contract (2015 on books payroll - $0), so I can’t see Yelich being traded, especially to a divisional rivals. ETA here is 2015.
19 - Byron Buxton, OF (MIN) – The Twins only have one outfielder (Josh Willingham) signed through 2014 and they have three outfielders on this list. Buxton is around four years away so he seems safe to remain a Twin.
21 - Nick Castellanos, OF (DET) – Detriot has only one outfielder signed long term (Torii Hunter through the 2014 season). Castellanos played around a 2/3rd season in AA in 2012 (.264) after hitting .405 in 215-AB at the A+ level. His ETA is opening day 2014 and, right now, he looks to remain a Tiger.
26 - Bubba Starling, OF (KC) – Starling’s ETA is around the same as Brandon Nimmo, so it’s far to0 early to project his tradability.
32 - Jackie Bradley, OF (BOS) – another stud that was available when the Mets picked their first rounder… JBJ will start 2013 back in AA (2012: .271), and finish up in AAA with a September call up. Shane Victorino s signed through 2015 and Jonny Gomes is signed through 2014 and team controlled ex-prospect Ryan Kalish already has 96 MLB at-bats under his belt.
I just don’t see the Red Sox as a team that’s going to climb back on the top of this division through the draft and what better team to trade a late season Santana to.
39 - Albert Almora, OF (CHI) – Scott Hairston and Alfonzo Soriano both have contracts through the 2014 season and Jorge Soler (#42) has an ETA of around 2016.
41 - Mason Williams, OF (NYY) – the Yankees don’t trade prospects to the Mets so forgettaboutit!
42 - Jorge Soler, OF (CHI) – Soler has signed one of those Jon Niese-like cheap deals that will pay him through 2020. This basically takes him off of any hit list.
52 - Brian Goodwin, OF (WAS) – I’m not going to spend any time here because I don’t see the Nats trading any prospects to the Mets. That being said, Jayson Werth is signed through 2017, Bryce Harper isn’t going anywhere, and Goodwin (ETA: 2015) will have to take Roger Bernadina’s job away.
55 - Rymer Liriano, OF (SD) – San Diego only has three long term contracts and two are outfielders… Carlos Quentin through 2015 and Cameron Maybin through 2016. Will Venable will go ARB3 next season and Chris Denorfia is signed through 2014, Liriano’s ETA year. Someone has to go here.
57 - George Springer, OF (HOU) – Springer is going to be a star. He’ll play AA this year and his safe ETA would be 2015; however, don’t be surprised he doesn’t elevate to the majors next opening day. Houston is a mess with no contracts past this season. I can’t see Houston trading this guy at this point in their rebirth.
58 - David Dahl, OF (COL) – Dahl played rookie ball last season and is around four years off so it’s far too early to project him in a possible trade.
65 - Gregory Polanco, OF (PIT) – Polanco hit .325 at the A-level (437-AB) in 2012. That ETAs him for opening day 2015 earliest. There will be two long term OF contracts on the books in 2015, Jose Tabata (through 2016) and Andrew McCutchen (through 2017). Polanco will compete with players like Starling Marte for that third OF position, so yes, his name will be in play for a team that is always looking or young, team controlled, pitching.
68 - Courtney Hawkins, OF (CWS) – I’m sorry… I just can’t talk about this guy.
70 - Jake Marisnick, OF (MIA) – Like Yelich (#13), there doesn’t seem to be any reason to project this kid as trade bait (though it is Miami, right?). Wil play CF in AAA this year and should ETA on 2014’s opening day.
75 - Tyler Austin, OF (NYY) – Forgettaboutit v2.0
76 - Yasiel Puig, OF (LAD) – there’s no place for this Cuban kid to go… the Dodgers have Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier signed through 2017 and Matt Kemp signed through 2019. Puig’s ETA is 2015.
85 - Joc Pederson, OF (LAD) – hit .313 in a full A+ season, he will actually become available before Puig. Neither one of these guys are ever going to play an inning in the Dodgers outfield
93 - Oswaldo Arcia, OF (MIN) – Arcia split 2012 in A+ and AA. His ETA is opening day 2014 and should wind up as the future Twins right fielder.
97 - Adam Eaton, OF (ARI) – The Diamondbacks stocked up this past season, including Cody Ross (through 2015), and IF/OF Martin Prado (through 2016). Geraldo Parra (MLB - .273)is still under team control, so Eaton, who had a September call-up last season after hitting .381 at AAA, is prime for a mid-season trade for someone to help Arizona in their pennant race.
98 - Aaron Hicks, OF (MIN)- batted .286, 13-HR, 61-RBI in a full AA season last year. A pure centerfielder with an opening day 2014 ERA.
100 - Gary Brown, OF (SF) – Brown played AA in 2012 and his conservative ETA is opening day 2014. Only Angel Pagan (through 2016) is under contract, so it looks to me that Brown will get his shot on the Bay.