D-Whit - Tomorrow begins Today: Trio of trades transform Mets from Pretender to Contender.


If you look at in a vacuum the Mets gave up too much for Yoenis Cespedes. A combination, however, of the promising circumstances the team finds itself in and a fanbase made restless by a lackluster half decade of MLB played at Citi Field made these shrewd moves imperative. Sure, Sandy Alderson and Tiger GM Dave Dombrowski had a sort of stare down on Michael Fulmer-with the Met GM blinking-but the Gomez fiasco and failed attempts at prying Jay Bruce or Justin Upton away from their respective teams left Alderson with acquiring Cespedes being his best, and frankly, only option. 

ESPN’s Keith Law, whose opinion I respect, criticized both the Storen and Cespedes moves, but, particularly the latter, however he misses the point. Law compares how the Cubs held onto their hitting prospects while the Mets traded future pitching for rentals. That comparison is wrong because the Cubs hitting prospects are a better compared to the Mets big 5. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, et al are the Cubs foundation just like Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndegaard, Stephen Matz, and Zack Wheeler are the foundation  of the Mets. Michael Fulmer, John Gant, Casey Meisner, Rob Whalen and Luis Cessa, talented as they are, do not make up the core of the team. So Law was wrong in that assessment. 

The fear is that the farm system now becomes thin in quality pitching prospects. Losing that depth below Flushing hurts some, sure, but let’s face it, New York has no real need of reinforcement starters until 2018 or 2019, depending on how they handle Harvey and the future arbitration years of the 5 aces. If the team can’t produce at least one top line SP1 or 2 prospects by that time then something went terribly south down on Sandy’s farm. Another concern some may have is what happens if injuries strike one or more of those five aces in 2016 or beyond? You can’t predict the future or anticipate the worst, that’s not a winner’s attitude. 

There’s always pitching out there either internally or externally to fit in a piece here or there when or if needed. That holds true with relievers as well. It’s what perennial contenders do, fill in the holes of the foundation here and there, when necessary. That's what the Mets are now. Contenders. Sandy Alderson’s intent was build a contender on the arms of a dominant front five and to his credit he stuck with that vision. He held onto his five jewels (though in Wheeler’s case barely) despite numerous tempting trade offers involving names like Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gomez among others. He didn't give up spare change for the guys he just brought in but the Mets had an embarrassment of riches on the hill and could afford to spend future talent on today’s needs. The New York Mets have officially entered an era of being yearly contenders. The long cold winter of Mets fan discontent is over. Summer is here and the time is right for a pennant drive in One-Five.


Thomas Brennan said...

Totally agree, D Whit. Hated to lose Fulmer, but the Mets have added a run per game to their offense with the acquisitions and d'Arnaud returning. We just might win a world series this year. Playoffs or bust.

Anonymous said...

I think the other important thing people like Law over look is perception. Free Agents have had no desire to come to the Mets. The Mets had to over pay and make players offers they couldn't refuse or settle for much lower level Free Agents. The perception of the Mets is changing. Being a Met is fun. If they get into the playoff that will change even more. You will find players wanting to come to the Mets and telling other teams they have to outbid the Mets. Not the other way around. Will never now the true impact of that. It is what Pedro Martinez did for the Mets when he signed with them. I also hated losing Fulmer. I would have offered Nimmo, Cecchini, and Gsellman in his place. But the Tigers wanted Fulmer and we needed to make the trade.
Richard Jones

Kevin S said...

Prospects are just prospects until proven otherwise. Everyone wants to keep them all and build a homegrown team making league minimum but it just doesn't work that way. For the most part, a lot of these guys, even the highly regarded ones won't be anything more than role players, if that. Trade the prospects to help the big ballclub. Then draft new guys and repeat.

Cody Pomeray said...


Lowest ERA by teams Top 30 prospects:

Pirates 2.98
Cubs 2.99
Twins 3.06
Tigers 3.09
METS 3.20

Highest BA by teams Top 30 prospects:

Giants .288
METS .282
Rangers .281
Astros .281
Cubs .280

Lew Rhodes said...

I personally give up Fulmer over Wheeler 100 times out of 100 - even with an extra year of Gomez - I still like this trade better

Plus, I think the Mets can sign a big bat this off season - now that they have changed their reputation, the team will be attractive to FA'S - what player wouldn't want to be on a team with this staff?

Michael S. said...

- The Mets SHOULD become a desirable destination for players as long as ownership commits to winning.

- We need to sign our pitching long term.

- My only concern about trading Fulmer for a rental is that is depletes our available tradable pieces for longer term solutions. We have time to draft and develop more pitching.

Lew Rhodes said...

One thing folks have missed on the trade front is the Mets have insurance for its staff for the next two (or is it three?) in the person of Jon Niese -- who, other than his bad performance when his wife was in labor, has been awesome for two months.

Right now on Opening Day next year we have deGrom, Harvey, Thor, Matz, Niese with Wheeler taking his time to come back.

That doesn't even include Monterro

Mets are more than fine on the pitching front - we need hitting, and with Conforto, Cecchini and Nimmo close to ready, we actually may only need to splurge on one big bat in the off season (my dream in Heyward, but I don't see that happening)

Also, who knows, maybe Cespedes loves his time in NY and re-signs - then that trade looks even more brilliant.

Mack Ade said...

The last three games were electric in NYC.

Did you see the wide grin on Harvey's face when Duda hit his HR?

I venture to say that winnings and a return of Wilpon spending could change player's attitudes on playing for this team in the future.

Michael S. said...

If the Wilpon's could give Sandy the type of budget that he have neophyte Omar, this could be one of the best teams in baseball for a long time now that the foundation is built.

Lew Rhodes said...

Michael - The most key phrase you wrote is "now that the foundation is built."

Much to the fans consternation, Sandy spent 4 years building the foundation - the Mets are now poised to go on the same time of sustained run they did from 1984 - 1988 - let's just hope we get the WS title that group got

Michael S. said...

I'm greedy Lew. I want the WS title they got, the one they missed in 1988, and any other one they can. I've seen the Blue Jays win back to back, the Yankees go on a run of titles, and now the Giants win 3 out of 5. Why not us

Mack's Mets © 2012