Ernest Dove - Is It Time for Mets To Trade off One Of The 'Four Horseman' To Win Long Term?

 Well, after spending the entire offseason, and spring of 2015 with a one track mind, I think I am beginning to head on over to 'the other side' with my thinking.

  Over the past year I have remained steadfast in my belief that the Mets should keep all hands (arms) on deck with regard to their 'dream rotation'.  Like many other fans, I've been dreaming about a Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler, Matz and Thor rotation for the next 3-5 years.  The belief is that you simply can't have enough quality arms.  And, with the state of the Mets payroll, I didn't feel it would be right to not take advantage of a rotation full of studs, all cheap, all under team control for the foreseeable future. 

  And, even after Wheeler went down for the year, Montero seemingly has done the same, and with the Mets not finding any suitors for the likes of Colon, Niese and Gee, I still remained in this belief.  As we've seen the past few years in October baseball, there continues to be a stream of stud under age 27 arms dominating the playoffs and leading their teams for victory almost singlehandedly. The Mets seemed prime to be next up in this regard.  But people change.  Teams change. Season's change. I've changed.  At this point in time, I'm ready for something (not that) dramatic.  I'm ready for the Mets to get go of the stranglehold they have over Harvey, deGrom, Noah and Matz.

  The idea of team controlled studs still remains exciting, but when you think about it, how many pitchers does one team need come playoff time?  At most, a solid world series contending team still only really needs 3 to 4 arms in a rotation. We live in an age of pitch counts, caps and limits.  And, with seemingly most of this star studded rotation having already gone under the knife, how many of them would you want (or expect to want) pitching 200 innings, and then pitching out of bullpen on any given night during October, giving it absolutely everything they have with their arms to get and keep a W?

  But again, my post is not about the Mets 'not needing' 5 strong arms.  It's about the Mets needing something else on the 25 man to even make it to the promise land of the playoffs. I've started to become more and more confused about the direction of this team every day.  It was my understanding that this team was going to be build around pitching, power and defense.  And, usually, I thought such a team would also require a bit of speed as well.  However, the Mets have spent the past few seasons signing guys like Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, Michael Cuddyer and John Mayberry Jr. I'm confused by the signings because CY struck out ALOT. Granderson struck out ALOT. Cuddyer was already 36 years old and no longer truly had a position in the field he could play well, and Mayberry Jr was supposed to hit lefties, but........what other value would he even have had that would be a plus, even in a part time role?

  Even Bartolo Colon, a man who is here to eat innings for the youngsters, headed into this season with a ballpark that the team decided to move fences in.  So why sign a 41 year old to a two year contract, knowing he's a guy who can always be at risk of missing a pitch here and there each night, while moving in the fences and giving opposing teams more room to find the stands?

  No, I think I'm mentally ready for the 'unthinkable'.  I'm ready for the Mets to trade away one of their prized arms for a bat.  And, gun to my head, long story short, I'm going with Noah Syndergaard as the guy.  Yes, he throws pure heat. (we have other guys that do that).  Yes, he's actually younger than all the other guys. (it shows sometimes in his starts when things are not going his way on the mound).  Yes, he appeared to one of the crown jewels of the Sandy Alserson era when he was basically robbed away from the Blue Jays in that Dickey trade.  But here's the thing.  the Almighty Thor is a righty.  Steven Matz is a lefty.  Matt Harvey, despite all the social media craze to anoint him a Yankee 3 years in advance, just doesn't seem to be the guy the Mets and their front office would dare trade off.  He means too much right now to the team, its fans, and the almighty dollar of merchandise and home game attendance.  deGrom has become such a revelation that he may very well be the best and most polished arm the Mets currently have in the rotation, so I don't see him going anywhere either.  That just leaves Wheeler, who we all know won't even be around until next summer anyway, so he's going nowhere for the time being.

  So again, that leaves one Noah Syndergaard.  The hammer, which may need to be given and sacrificed to the people of earth (or an American League if possible) for an UNDER 30 year old all star caliber major league hitter.  If Noah is truly a top of the rotation arm, then he should be able to get the Mets a much needed middle of the order bat.  Yes, maybe Michael Conforto will be the rookie of year next year; the Mets will convince Cuddyer/Grandy to be a platoon for the good of the team, and Lagares' elbow will magically heal next year.  But this is all just too much to be asking for at this point.  Especially from a team and its fan base that have been waiting YEARS for change.  We can't keep relying on 'kids' to lead this team.  Not when they are all on the team playing at the same time.  Dilson Herrera would probably still be the Mets everyday 2nd baseman right now, if not for the fact that nobody else on the infield (except Murph) has been hitting. Heck, for all we know, Lagares might have already been shut down for the year if both Cuddyer and Granderson were contributing like 8 figure contract guys are expected to contribute.  But, it is what it is.  This is the team we have before us.  This team is not good enough.  This team needs a change.  And I've decided its true that you really must give in order to receive.

  The reason why Sandy has done such a great job in trades recently is because he had the ok from management to trade off star players for top prospects.  This is just not the case anymore.  There is literally nobody on the Mets 25 man roster (expect maybe Harvey or deGrom) who would command multiple top 10 prospects from another organization.  So, in my opinion, somebody has to go. 
  Not only that, That somebody (Thor) will also have to be packaged in a deal, along with other top 20 prospects, to land not just one, but possibly two all star players from a struggling team.  I don't want to name names because who really knows who wants what these days.  I don't know if anyone in the Mets organization has even considered a Braun/Gomez combo if they even did finally give in and trade off one of the Fearsome foursome.   I don't know if talent evaluators on Mets are willing to trade top talent for top talent, and call up the Cubs about Addison Russell, or call the Dodgers about Seager ( ok, im naming names :) )

  Either way, I think I'm sold.  Sold on the fact that the Mets need hitters.  More rookies like Conforto and Nimmo will not help the current stud arms immediately win a title during this 3-5 yr window.  And the Mets simply don't have a nice track record these days of hitting lightning in a bottle in the free agent market. So it's time to trade star power for star power. The Mets need a playoff contending 2015 and 2016 lineup to go along with a solid pitching staff. Sure, maybe Conforto is a star..... You know what, maybe so is Casey Meisner or Michael Fulmer.  If one can contribute quickly, why can't the others be assumed to take the place of a stud arm nicely?  At this time, either way, us Mets continues to do nothing but speculate and project.  I think we are all tired of doing both of those things.  Lets go for playoffs. Let's go for a title.  Let's go for a damn winning season.



bob gregory said...

Well said Ernest.
This is what I have been pointing out for quite some time.

I hope others are more open that it is coming from you.

Mack Ade said...


Very well written, Ernest.

I know how big of a Mets fan you are and this 'conversion' must have been tough for you.

All fans can do is debate whether the team should trade one of their team controlled pitchers or not. SA continues to say they aren't available which none of us truly know if that's true.

Some team needs to test the theory by offering TWO bats.

Ernest Dove said...

................ Thor and Conforto for Justin Upton...............discuss. .............

Mack Ade said...

I was hoping that Thor could bring 'us' TWO bats

I will gladly give Thor + somebody for J-Up, but not the only true bat prospect in the organization.

what about Plawecki?

Reese Kaplan said...

No. Even if money wasn't a problem you are giving your most recent tip pitching and hitting prospects for a short term solution. How about Syndergaard for Puig?

Anonymous said...

The thing that needs to change is the mindset, of the management, and players. I believe Sandy wants a moneyball team! it isn't working they hardly walk ,and there isn't enough players to hit the 3 run bomb! He has also given TC a team with no speed. They had 2 speed guys Reyes/Pagan both were gone, early in Sandy's years. Also TC has to get these guys to hit situationally! Cecilliani's suicide attempt the other day was BRUTAL. Next game TC bats him 2nd!! Stupid!
So besides them 2, the players have to take responsibility for not moving runners over! Im all over sending a guy back to the minors if he can not advance a runner in a tie game? Do you hear me Ruben?
FFS Leyland had Jay Bell bunt /sacrifice himself over 50 times in a season!!
If these guys cant or wont, find someone who will!!
Sure as HELL If Wally was running the show his team,would move runners-hit and run and bunt
Pissed off fan


Robb said...

the j upton deal, no. its not even a full year of control. so no, just no. no way.

what do you get back for thor? Does someone take grandersons contract too?

thor and granderson for xander bogarts + joe kelly?

bob gregory said...

Granderson is hitting better than most of the team.
Bigger problems than him.
He would be good fit in the 6th spot of the lineup

Ernest Dove said...

Well hey, like I said, I've finally changed my mind here.
It's fun dreaming about the 'dream rotation'. Its also fun to imagine a Conforto, Lagares, Nimmo outfield and a urena/thompson, Rosario, Dilson and Dom Smith infield.
But the fact remains that, statistically, some of these talanted baseball players will be lucky to even put on a major league uniform, let alone be a solid starting player at the big league level.

James Preller said...

The team is off-balance as presently constructed. With limited money for free agency, and so many holes to fill, the only answer is a trade.

And you gotta give in order to receive.

The #5 pitcher on the team doesn't have to be amazing. Just solid. What Gee gave the team for years, for example. Or Yoshi, back in better times. Also, a veteran in that mix wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Painful to see Syndergaard go, but oh well. However, I think the time for that deal is during the winter when there will be more suitors and a larger pool of available talent.

Montero will be back. Fulmer will be closer, etc.

Just foolish to put such a lousy team behind pitchers like Harver, deGrom, and Matz.

Ernest Dove said...

Perhaps the bottom line is that Sandy and company 'thought' that Grandy and Cuddyer would put up marlon Byrd and scott hairston type numbers for them, and it just never happened.
Not every 30 something year old can have a resurgence in their career, especially when both were already coming off injuries to begin with.

Steve from Norfolk said...

I still think Harvey should be the one to go. He only has 3 years before FA, and we know he's not sticking with Bore-ass for an agent. Plus, he's got the hype behind him. If a team needs to trade a star, and they want to look like a winner, Harvey is the man to trade for. My first choice , like yours, Ernest is Gomez/Braun, although I'd really like to get Segura somehoe. There's got to be a package that will net them. Get off your ass and go to work, sandy!

Anonymous said...

Steve for Norfolk, I agree offer Harvey upto the Yanks for Aaron Judge,Jorge Mateo and Luis Severino

Anonymous said...

I look around and see some players who are at AAA, who are blocked who could fit?
Pitt has Alen hanson, they are in a race how about for Parnell?
Trades like that Trevor Plouffe,now that Sano is up?
For a bullpen piece or Plawecki?
Others players Ketel Marte(sea)


Anonymous said...

I don't want to see the Mets trade one of the fab 5. I think they can build around them through other methods. However I can see why they would make a trade. If they do it needs to be for someone who is of similar age and with the same number of controllable years. Syndergaard or Matz for Upton no. Upton will not be enough to help us win it all this year. Would we be happy with a Syndergaard for Upton if Upton got us to finish 3 games back instead of 6 or 7. Then he signs with the Yankees for 2016 and Syndergaard wins 20 games.
Syndergaard for Bryant now I'm listening.
Richard Jones

bob gregory said...


You are absolutely correct the roster could improve while keeping all 5 or any 5 of the starting pitchers the organization would like.
that means the offensive improvements would have to come by spending money by taking on expensive contracts or free agency.
The current leadership has not shown any interest in anything like that.

The Mets could have and could still build a dynasty if the organization leaders invested more time, effort, and yes money into the offense.

More wins and more offense would increase entertainment interest. Which would increase profit.

In the absence of that..... the only Avenue for improvement is by trading the higher valued assets.

Richard Jones said...


I agree with you and that is why I did state I was open to trading one of the fab 5 but not for a rental. It needs to be for a young, controllable rising star. Bryant, Russell, or someone like them. Not for 3 months of Upton.

Richard Jones

ZachBoyer said...

Yeah, that's a horrible trade for Upton. Don't have to deal any of the 5 aces. AND if you were going to do anything, it should have been done at least month ago. You're reacting as late as the front office you so often criticize.

And yet, by trading one of our four pitching prospects, you're also overreacting.

Michael S. said...

No, no, no, no, and no.

Any move now will likely be a trade for a short term fix. There are bats in the minors on their way and I wouldn't sacrifice YEARS of a dominant pitcher to get someone for the rest of 2015 and maybe next year. We need ONE bat - a power hitting corner OF, preferably RH. That's it. The rest of the positions can take care of themselves. I realize that there's never a guarantee that prospects will make the majors, but our hitting prospects are doing things most of the others that we hoped and prayed for never did - succeeding at higher levels and getting recognition from the rest of the baseball world. We were worried about our pitchers making it but so far so good.

The lineup?

1. CF Nimmo
2. SS Cecchini
3. LF Conforto
4. RF ????
5. 1B Duda
6. Ca d'Arnaud or Plawecki
7. 3B Murphy
8. 2B Various potentials

Sandy needs to get a RH OF. Maybe Becerra can grow into that. For now? I get Ryan Braun and let the rest of the pieces fall into place. With his contract, a trade shouldn't require Thor.

ZachBoyer said...

Looks good to me! Just curious. How come you don't have Herrera locked in at 2B?

And I highly doubt the Mets would ever take on Braun's contract (even if it won't take a Thor). It sucks but I feel like as fans we need to fit even our imaginations into the Wilpon's budget?! Oh, and what do you propose doing with Granderson and his remaining two years while you replace him in RF?

Or is this lineup a 2018 version?

Michael S. said...

It's more of a transitional lineup...could begin to take shape at some point next year and more likely the beginning of 2017.

I left out Lagares (injury) and Wright because of the uncertainty surrounding him. Herrera isn't in at 2B because he might have to be dealt to get the RH bopper we desperately need. If he isn't sacrificed, the job is his.

If it were up to me, I'd bench Granderson until we could buy him out...of course I can't see the Wilpon's doing that. But, with Wright's contract insured and the bulk of the roster making peanuts it's a possibility. Wright's contract insurance is another reason they might be willing to take on Braun's money. The team needs a boba fide MLB hitter. That money was earmarked for David, it can be shifted to someone who actually plays.

Then we have a rotation with the top 4 and whomever gets the 5th. Could be Wheeler, could be Fulmer. Whoever it is not may be included in trade or added to what should become a wipeout bullpen.

Mack's Mets © 2012