Posted by David Whitman at 10:00 AM
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.