Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
The Mets world has moved on to the pursuit of their next shortstop. Every blog and beat reporter are churning out the usual suspects we have discussed here that could be wearing Mets blue and gold next year.
The Mets seem to have turned their backs to finding one via free agency. Ther eis considerable depth on the Mets in starters, second basemen and catchers, and there seems to be plenty to choose from to put together a deal for a decent replacement for Wilmer Flores.
The problem seems to be the desires of the teams that have these excess shortstops. Yes, they need pitching, but they want nothing to do with players either under long term contracts or are already going up the escalating scales of arbitration.
Simply put, you better be much more talented than Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, or Jonathan Niese if you want to be traded for a decent player these days. Baseball has changed. Grade schools have filled the game with highly talented pitchers that dominate the top 15 prospects of every team. Everybody is looking for players with service time. Colon, Niese, and Gee don’t have any left.
In a perfect world, the Mets would like to move one of these guys now, one at mid-season, and one in September. All three could then be replaced (two rotation slots) with any combination of Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz.
Teams like Arizona are not going to deal one of their young prospects unless they receive one back in return. My guess is this makes Montero most vulnerable; however, it still doesn’t solve the excess of pitching the Mets will have with Gee, Colon, and Niese.
My suggestion is simple:
- Make it well known that Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jake deGrom, Syndergaard, and Matz are currently untradeable. Take these names off the table, even if it means that your phone stops ringing. You do not want to either mortgage the farm here or break up this future rotation.
- Aggressively market Montero. He’s your last available team controlled chip in this scenario.
- Continue to market Colon, Gee, and Niese with the minimal goal of only two of them starting the 2015 season in the rotation with Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom. You will have to decide what to do with one of these guys if nothing happens before the opening day. Frankly, all three are no longer a part of the future of this team.
- Calm down about shortstop. The Michael Cuddyer addition has filled a major crack and the worst thing that might happen here is you’ll have a 7th or 8th hitter in your lineup going .250, 12/15-HR, 50/65-RBI.
Either way, securing a new shortstop in this off-season may take a while. I assume Sandy Alderson is working on this.
The Mets signed an ex-Los Angeles Dodger outfielder yesterday, but it wasn’t one of the guy s we’ve all been discussing lately.
Two years ago, Alex Castellanos was one of the top prospects in the Dodger organization. He hit 17-HRs and 52-RBIs in 94-games for the AAA-Albuquerque Isotopes and wound up filling in for the injured Matt Kemp by the end of the season.
Then, everything went to shit for Castellanos.
On October 23, 2013, Castellanos was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker. On December 12, 2013, he was designated for assignment in order to make room for Mike Napoli on the roster. On December 23, 2013, he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers designated him for assignment on March 5 to make room for Joe Saunders. On March 7, 2014, he was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. He was designated for assignment on April 25, 2014. Castellanos cleared waivers this time and was ultimately outrighted to Triple-A El Paso.[i]
His eventual 2014 AAA stat line was 360-AB, .275, .351, .439, 790, 8-HR, 42-RBI.
This is a minor league invite to Las Vegas and a chance to compete for a utility job during spring training. In the past, Castellanos has played all outfield positions, 1B, 2B, and 3B.
I liked Castellanos three years ago, but that was before he either flopped or has been kicked around too much. Also, we need to build in a factor for those PCL generated numbers.
A right hand hitter that could eventually replace either Cesar Puello or Eric Young Jr., in my opinion this is a AAA strength move that will give the Mets a decent emergency 5th outfielder, if needed, in Queens.
BP – Top 10 Washington Prospects –
1. RHP Lucas Giolito, 2. RHP A.J. Cole, 3. CF Michael Taylor, 4. RHP Reynaldo Lopez, 5. RHP Erick Fedde, 6. OF Steven Souza, 7. C Jakson Reetz, 8. RHP Jake Johansen, 9. CF Rafael Bautista, 10. SS/2B Wilmer Difo
Brandon Nimmo, who will turn 22 in March, has become worldlier as he has climbed up the Mets’ farm system. And he still has more to learn. The Mets’ first draft pick under Sandy Alderson in 2011 (he went 13th overall), he tallied a .278/.394/.426 slash line in a combined 127 games last season with Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. He has struggled in his first AFL campaign, putting up a dreadful .210/.312/.247 slash line in his first 20 games, totaling 81 plate appearances.[i]
The second top position prospect is shortstop Corey Seager. Seager is like a painting in that if you ask ten people their opinions on the topic, you could very well get ten different answers. It is widely agreed that Seager is a top prospect, but where one would ‘rank’ him varies greatly. At midseason, I had Seager as the fourteenth best prospect in baseball, which, honestly, might have been a tad bit low. Perhaps Seager’s biggest issue is the same as Correa’s and that is their future defensively. At 6’4” and 215lbs, Corey Seager is big despite being just twenty years of age. Can he stick at shortstop in the long-term? It seems really unlikely, which is interesting as those that call for him to move to third eventually are quiet on Carlos Correa’s defensive future. Even if he switches to third base, which does not appear to be the case in 2015, he will likely to be able to play the position at average defensively, which is fine for the type of prospect Seager is, an offense-first prospect.[ii]