Reese Kaplan -- Addition by Subtraction?

So desperate times call for desperate measures. Unfortunately the Mets have apparently no inclination to spend money to solve their offensive woes. They don't want to part with any of the future Fab Five starting rotation members. How then do you bring in some much needed offensive help?

Trade Lucas Duda.

Yes, the big man looked terrific in 2014 but this year seems to have regressed. It's not usually smart business to sell low, but he's going to cost you even more money next year. They jettisoned Ike Davis due to a lesser financial commitment. There could be a buyer out there who feels a change of scenery is all that's needed to make him into a productive hitter again. Pair him with other pitching options not necessarily part of the future – Rafael Montero, Matt Bowman (recently turning it on in AAA), Gabriel Ynoa, etc. and you might be able to land that impact bat the team so desperately needs.

You also still have the underwhelming but relatively expensive duo of Bartolo Colon and Jon Niese who by themselves don't generate much interest but if someone wants Duda then you might demand they take one of these players, too.

Finally, don't forget about Daniel Murphy. Yes, he is one of the few productive bats on the team, but he's a goner for NOTHING next year. You might as well try to bundle him as part of a package to get something in return.

I've mentioned in the past how when the Mets wanted Mike Hampton they were forced to take Derek Bell and his salary to close the deal. Maybe that's how Sandy Alderson has to play the prospect of trading what could be considered a semi-attractive asset in Duda. No one wants Michael Cuddyer, you can't trade David Wright with his medical prognosis and despite Curtis Granderson's recent surge, he's still probably not desirable to someone else who would then be on the hook for two more years.

Finding outfielders is usually easier than finding people to cover other positions. Perhaps there are teams out there with even worse production from 1B or DH who might consider taking a flyer on the big man? Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Colorado, Oakland, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis and Tampa Bay would all see an improvement with Duda's diminished output.

What would you do then to cover 1st base? You have a few choices. You are obligated to pay Michael Cuddyer for another year. Maybe his knees would feel less stress if he didn't have to run around in the outfield. You can then use Cuddyer in 2016 as a transition to see how Dom Smith, Jayce Boyd, Kevin Plawecki or others in the system adapt and grow.

Don't like that? How about telling Travis d'Arnaud to switch to 1st base in the interest of his health. His bat looks more consistently dangerous than does Lucas Duda's, so it might be worth looking at a way of keeping him in the lineup more often.

Then there's Wilmer Flores. He's obviously not been a great answer at shortstop and second base is only a place holding position while Dilson Herrera gets more experience. If you moved him to 1B, then you open up 2B to Herrera and hopefully get a return of David Wright at 3B at some point in the future.

Hey, it's a risky gamble but thus far trying to trade spare parts hasn't garnered any attention. Obviously there were concerns about Duda's ability to repeat, hence the failure to lock him up to a multi-year deal during the off-season. Right now the parsimonious owners are probably happy about that, so why not turn try to turn soon-to-be more costly lemons into lemonade? Depending on the return – an impact bat or a highly regarded prospect – would result in the perception of going for it this year or throwing in the towel on the 2015 season.

As I said, desperate times call for desperate measures.


Mack Ade said...

Morning Reese -

I'm going to stay with the current infield for now and let them try to work out their hitting problems. I don't expect miracles here, but seven hits like last night (including a Duda double) could easily be enough to generate enough runs to win 60% of the remaining games with this superb pitching staff (gets better next week with the addition of Mejia).

Duda's my 2015 first baseman.

Richard Jones said...

Not to long ago Duda was hitting over .300. His power wasn't what it was in 2014 but he was driving in runs. I've been watching baseball long enough to know it is a game of streaks. Duda has been cold for a while. Cold streaks are usually followed by hot streaks. You don't dump someone based on 1 month of poor hitting. You wouldn't have many players in the ML if you dumped them based on one month of poor hitting. All hitters go through periods like that, except maybe Ted Williams.

You don't have to package Colon nor Niese to dump them. They have value to the Mets right now. I'm sure other teams would take them if the Mets offered them for near nothing. SA is trying to get something of value for them. That might be difficult but dumping them would not.

Yes lets trade everyone we have now for players of lesser value that ought to make us better.

Richard Jones

Anonymous said...

If/when Wright can get back on the field, is 1b a consideration? Seems more of an off-season move pending his health but if we can get something of value for duda maybe we can slide wright over to 1b

Thomas Brennan said...

I am with Richard on Duda. Let's hope Duda catches fire and is highly desirable in a trade this time next year. Maybe Smith will be ready with another 600 minor league plate appearances and we can deal from strength. Of course, let's also see if Wright could be a 1B candidate. Long way to go before Wright is able to play again.

ZachBoyer said...

They gave Ike 2-3 years to figure it out. I'd give Duda more than a month.

His numbers have precipitously dropped (coincidentally or otherwise) since he got HBP in the knee. He took the next day off, I believe?

Reese Kaplan said...

I like Wright to the outfield a'la Chipper

Metsiac said...

You want a guy with back problems to move to a new position where he has to run a lot and dive for balls? And avoid running into walls?

Uh-UH! ��

Anonymous said...

Reese I like your out of the box thinking.
There is a couple teams you didn't list, who have been mentioned looking for a left handed bat?
The LAA are one of them.
Another team could be SEA

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