Reese Kaplan -- Trading Places, Mets Edition

With the season now more than 1/3 over and the team surprisingly clinging to a slim lead atop the NL East, many are wondering what Sandy Alderson is doing to earn his bloated paycheck from the Wilpons?  It seems anyone who pays even passing notice of the Mets understands that the team has a surplus of pitching and cannot score runs.  Trading one for the other would seem to make logical sense…but who out there is in need of pitching?

A quick look around the leagues shows several teams that have one or more starters that are doing more harm than good.  Using an arbitrary 5.00 ERA as a metric, let’s see who Sandy could call and offer up the remaining months of Bartolo Colon, the final months of Dillon Gee, the longer term security of Jon Niese or one of the younger pitchers who do not figure prominently into the future plans (such as Rafael Montero once healthy). 

  • The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (or whatever they are calling themselves this week) have Matt Shoemaker getting the ball every five days in place of the injured Tyler Skaggs. 
  • The Diamondbacks trot out Josh Collmenter and Rubby De La Rosa to sacrifice two games every five days.
  • The Dodgers are missing Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Brandon League yet still clinging to 1st place.  They have uber-prospect Corey Seager who could play SS or 3B ready for post-Super Two deadline promotion and a glut of infielders including Jimmy Rollins, Justin Turner and Alex Guerrero. 
  • The Indians are desperate enough to hand the ball to Shaun Marcum on a regular basis
  • The Mariners’ highly regarded Taijuan Walker is struggling big time this year and at 8 games back in June they could still realistically make a move up in the standings with another starting option.
  • Despite being in the same division, the Marlins are struggling mightily and have been without Jose Fernandez and Mat Latos, instead entrusting starts to the likes of Brad Hand, David Phelps and Jose Urena.
  • This one would take guts, but the Nationals are missing 40% of their solid gold rotation with Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg on the shelf.  Instead they’re hurling A.J. Cole and Taylor Jordan.  What would they give for a Bartolo Colon?
  • The Orioles are within striking distance at 5.5 GB, but are getting killed by the duo of Chris Tillman and Bud Norris.
  • The Phillies are so far back into a rebuild phase that the whole in-division thing may not matter.  Jerome Williams and Sean O’Sullivan are not helping them at all.
  • The Pirates are in for a dogfight with the Cardinals and Cubs, yet Jeff Locke is getting 20% of their starts.
  • The Rays have been particularly bitten by the injury bug to the starting rotation with Drew Smyly, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore all on the 60-day DL.  Now Jake Odorizzi is out for an indeterminate time due to a muscle strain.  Even Dillon Gee would be an upgrade to Erasmo Ramirez in the rotation.
  • The BoSox have been a big disappointment this year but still only 5.5 GB.  Joe Kelly isn’t helping matters, though, and they could use another starter.
  • Coors Field has become even more of a pitching hell than usual for top two starters Jorge De La Rosa and Kyle Kendrick.  The Rockies seemingly always need pitching. 
  • The first place Kansas City Royals seem to have reached the end of the line for Jeremy Guthrie.  In addition, they’re entrusting starts to the talented but frequently injured big man, Chris Young. 
  • Detroit is not getting what they’d hoped from Anibel Sanchez and are also helping the competition every time Shane Greene takes the mound.
  • The White Sox have not gotten much out of John Danks for many years and in 2015 it’s worse than usual.
  • Finally, the crosstown rival Yankees have two fragile but talented pitchers in Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, followed by a formerly successful big man, CC Sabathia, who I’m sure they would gladly replace with the Mets’ big man, Bartolo Colon.  
I’m not here to make WATPs for specific players, but merely to indicate there is a pitching market out there and surely among that group there must be a team with a bat to spare.  (And let's not forget that trading any of those three pitchers brings $5 to $11 million of salary relief to help offset the cost of whatever bat is acquired).


Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Nice bunch of research here.

The comments are pretty quiet this morning. Nothing like a no-hitter to shut things down.

I expect SA to, first, try to improve the offense from within. Baby steps today with Arnaud over Plawecki. Next up, Herrera.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Molina, Montero, dom smith and nimmo for Braun or Gomez

Reese Kaplan said...

The d'Arnaud/Plawecki thing is a no-brainer, but even at his disappointing level of performance, Plawecki is still preferable to Anthony Recker.

I disagree on the Herrera thing. He's got options and they're in love once again with Ruben Tejada. Would they bench Campbell or Tejada to make room for Herrera? You could put him on the roster in place of never-used Danny Muno but what would it accomplish if he doesn't play?

Anonymous said...

Molina is having arm troubles, Mil wouldn't want him at this time?
The Mets don't need 2 more OF's! Cuddyer-Lagares-grandy-braun-gomez

The Mets need a 3rd baseman, someone who could also play elsewhere

Reese Kaplan said...

I hate to sound like a broken record, but Alex Guerrero on the Dodgers who is apparently 2nd on the depth chart behind old friend Justin Turner has played SS, 3B and OF during his Cuban and ML career. He's got very good power with his last four Cuban minor league seasons resulting in totals of 19, 19, 22 and 21 HRs (in 300 ABs) and then a 258 AB PCL stint with 15 HRs. In the majors this year he has 10 HRs in less than 110 ABs. That sounds like a perfect fit -- slot him in at 3B and move him to the OF when they finally concede defeat and go with the world's most expensive platoon of Cuddyer and Granderson.

Christopher Soto said...


Not to sound like a broken record....

But Alex Guerrero is not an attractive trade option. Guerrero has a clause in his contract that states he can opt out of his contract at the end of a season should the Dodgers trade him during the life of his contract.

Also....he's terrible defensively and has fallen down to earth now that the Dodgers are giving him playing time.

Stubby said...

You keep mentioning Colon. If you think Colon has significant trade value, then put me in touch with your dealer because you're smoking better stuff than I've ever even heard of. If you're Alderson, the first mention of Colon is going to have the guy on the other end hanging up. Sure, if you want to trade Colon for Marcum, we can talk. But, if you want to improve the Mets, Colon--regardless of how well he pitches for the Mets and regardless of how poor the other teams' pitching may be--is not going to get it done.

The guys you want to be untouchables--Thor, Matz, hell, Harvey and DeGrom--those are the guys the other teams want. The guys you want to trade for are their untouchables. Do you really think the Dodgers would trade Seager or Gurrero in order to keep and play Turner and Rollins? Seriously? And would you trade Thor or Matz for Rollins and Turner? Because THAT deal you could actually get done, but you'd hate yourself in the morning.

Talk to some fans of these teams. Ask a Tampa Bay fan if THEY see Dillon Gee as an upgrade over Ramirez, for example, or ask a Yankee fan if they'd rather have Bartolo than C.C. I think you'd find that you've over-valued Mets and under valued the competition WILDLY.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Until you're ready to deal Thor, Matz, deGrom or Harvey, then you're not ready to deal. Not seriously anyway. We might be able to bring in a completely washed-up over-the-hill player for less (still more than you'd like to give for such) and we may very well do that. I hear the Mets have interest in Aramis Ramirez of the Brewers (he of the .213 batting average). But that's about the best you're going to get without trading away one of our studs.

Mack's Mets © 2012