Let’s spend a few moments dreaming about players whose names have not yet been linked to the Mets to acquire in trade this off-season.
- Mark Trumbo – He ticks the boxes of what the Mets want in terms of right handed proven power. He’s coming off a poor season in Arizona and makes modest money given his high power/low batting average resume.
- Jason Heyward – Yes, in-division trades don’t happen too often but something’s got to give in the Peachtree city as they faded faster than a swap meet knockoff t-shirt. He’s coming off a down year with just 11 HRs but has hit as many as 27 in the past and he’s only 25 years old.
- Arismendy Alcantara – With all of the attention focused on the multitude of Chicago Cubs middle infielders and super prospect Jorge Soler, many seem to have forgotten about the exploits of the guy manning CF for the Cubbies. His .205 average doesn’t scream trade target, but 10 HRs in 300 ABs certainly does. In addition he has 30 SB speed.
- Dayan Viciedo – The crosstown rival Chicago White Sox have a chunky left fielder who has hit average 22 HRs per season and is still just 25 years old. He’s right handed, too.
- Michael Brantley – The Cleveland Indians need pretty much everything, so after they stop laughing offer them volume in terms of pitchers and other players. They may try to parlay Brantley’s best ever season into a big payday in quantity, but it’s unlikely they would bite unless Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler were together part of the conversation.
- Nick Castellanos – He may be playing 3B for the Tigers but he came up through the system playing nearly as many games as a corner outfielder. He’s a career .303 hitter in the minors and in his age 22 season as a rookie he hit a respectable 11 HRs and 66 RBIs. There’s certainly room for improvement moving forward.
OK, now let’s have some fun with one more idea…one which could prove expensive in terms of personnel or salary, but whose name hasn’t come up as often as Matt Kemp, Jose Bautista or Carlos Gonzalez. There’s one team whose fortunes plummeted so badly that the town is ready to revolt. I’m talking about Milwaukee who looked preordained to win the division and who dropped faster than my 401K balance.
So if the Brew Crew needs to do something big, maybe they would be amenable to cutting ties with the Hebrew Hammer in LF. Ryan Braun had a lot of to atone for this year. While his numbers would look gaudy for a Mets outfielder, they were WAY off his apparently syringe-based norm. Consequently Milwaukee may want to get out from under and start changing the chemistry of the ball club.
Now, taking on Ryan Braun would be committing to another high-priced ballplayer…one that is owed an average salary of $17.83 million per year for the next six years. Now if he produced like the pre-PED Ryan Braun, that’s a fair salary (slightly more than you’re paying Curtis Granderson and less than you’re paying David Wright) while delivery superior production. Here’s where it would take some creativity. If you take on the full freight of his contract, then you sacrifice very little in terms of talent. If you give up good talent then you’d expect Milwaukee to kick in significantly towards the balance due.
So what would the Mets lineup look like with Ryan Braun supporting Wright, Granderson, Duda and the rest? All of the sudden they would transition from laughingstock to, dare I say, respectable if not downright formidable? I just don’t think they have the fortitude to take on another big contract even though trading away the salaries of Niese, Gee, Colon and Murphy would be way more than enough to pay for him.