Reese Kaplan -- Sell High or Sell Low?


One of the prevailing and accepted truisms of the business world is buy low and sell high.  You see evidence of this axiom in baseball all the time.  Right now, for example, the Texas Rangers are holding back on Jurickson Profar given that he’s not proven he’s healthy enough to play the field.  They don’t want to get a discounted return in trade when later he could net much more.  Conversely, the Mets find themselves in a few positions of “sell high” which could net them potentially more now whereas waiting could diminish what they’d get in the future.

Take the case of Curtis Granderson, a very nice guy whose rebound this past season helped wash away the Jason Bay taste of his first season in Queens.  They’re on the hook for two more years of salary at about $16 million per year which seems eminently reasonable given what he produced in 2015.  The question you have to consider is whether the 2014 or the 2015 version of a 35 year old player beginning the 2016 season and 36 the following year. 

Consequently would it be in the Mets’ best interest to sell high on Granderson and let another team assume that risk while simultaneously freeing up $32 million?  I know what you’re thinking…with Yoenis Cespedes already gone and both Michael Cuddyer and Juan Lagares healing from various ailments, is that the right move to create more holes in an outfield anchored by a rookie with only about 60 days of experience under his belt? 

Well, consider approaching a team like the Colorado Rockies and inquiring about a more expensive player such as Carlos Gonzalez or a less expensive one such as Charlie Blackmon…could moving Granderson and adding a pitcher (Niese or Wheeler) make deals like this one possible?  Blackmon, for example, is a career .288 hitter with some power who bats left handed and plays centerfield.  He’s coming off his final minimum wage year and is arbitration eligible going into 2016.  He could be a platoon partner for Juan Lagares while the team then opens up a corner slot for one of Justin Upton, Jason Heyward or Alex Gordon. 

Carlos Gonzalez would be the direct Yoenis Cespedes replacement they need offensively, though he comes with some fragility issues and is no longer a regular centerfielder.  Still, if they would talk about trading the 40-HR All-Star who’s earning only about $5 million more than Granderson over the remaining two years of his deal, you’d have to listen.  With the news about Jose Reyes coming down on Monday night and the possibility of a Ray Rice/Greg Hardy type of suspension, it may be that Colorado goes into full time rebuilding mode.

Another player who may fall into that “sell high” category is Jon Niese.  His World Series appearances were more good than bad, and at a $9 million salary with two more options years for the lefty, someone would likely bite. 

Sell Low

Another likely trade candidate would, unfortunately, be in the “sell low” category, PED-abuser Jenrry Mejia.  Believe it or not, Mejia likely has some trade value, too.  Yes, he’s a two-time loser in the PED sweepstakes, but how many chances did a Steve Howe get when he succumbed to recreational drugs?  Someone with talent will almost always get a chance for a fresh start elsewhere. 

Another passenger on this boat would be Kevin Plawecki.  Yes, Travis d’Arnaud has issues staying healthy, but in his first semi-extended trial in the majors Plawecki didn’t do himself nor the Mets any favors with a lackluster 3/21/.219, though his defense looked quite solid.  Still, his minor league numbers might still make him an attractive piece in a package deal elsewhere. 

Would an American League team be interested in bringing David Wright on board to be a full time DH?  Without the stress (or competence) required to play the field, would a reduced workload enable the former All Star to regain his form?  That one would be a majorly difficult sell, but think what the team could do with the $87 million committed to him for the next 5 years.  That change would enable them to slide Flores to 3B, Herrera to 2B and go out to try to land Starlin Castro or another long term solution at SS. 


Rene Riquelme said...

I like the idea alot of moving the elderly and getting healthy players on board,selling high and buying low is really the way to go.

Alexander Han said...

I agree, to get long term success, a team should always be thinking in terms of portfolio trimming and pruning.

The best example of a sensible, unsentimental team would be the Cardinals letting Albert Pujols go at age 29 or 30.

Only trouble is, if you're consistently "trading" in succesful players, you risk becoming the A's or the Rays. Always in contention, but never quite the best.

I would sell the guys you think are OVERrated. So not Granderson. He is such an important professional. You signed him for a reason and losing him will only raise the risk with any new player you've brought in.

As for Wright, I would be shocked if his contract did not have a no-trade clause. I don't think he's going anywhere. I do think the Mets are going to get more depth at 3rd base though.

Thomas Brennan said...

Good questions thrown out there, Reese. Younger is almost always better. I do want Plawecki to stay.

bob gregory said...

Trading Granderson could open up room for Cespedes and Heyward.

Picture the lineup then.
Coupled with the starting pitching.

Alexander Han said...

Bob, yes - but signing Cespedes now, at age 30, to a long term contract, would be the very definition of buying high.

bob gregory said...

The time is NOW for the Mets. Not 3 yrs from now.
The pitcher's are locked up for the next 3 yrs. Baby-stepping around will be a waste if the pitcher's value.

Overloading now on offense could all but guarantee 3+ straight yrs of playoff contention.
Would I overpay in some instances to have that?
Yes to some degree.

Thomas Brennan said...

Buy high, and go sky high in wins and losses

Thomas Brennan said...

Buy high, and go sky high in wins and losses

Reese Kaplan said...

What would David Wright net back if he was put on the block? I'm still think an AL team looking for a DH would be the best bet -- particularly if you want them to absorb his full salary.

Zozo said...

Yes I would agree 100% Bob. Trade him now and free up the $16 mill a year. Plus you can get some young guys back in the deal and stock up the system of not having our first pick this year by signing Heyward.
I would also trade Niese in any deal possible, I would trade Niese, Nimmo and Lagares for Elvis Andrus and some Salary Relief.

So our lineup would be something like this.


That would add more Defense and speed to our lineup.

Alexander Han said...

I don't think David's performances in recent years were good enough for a DH role. But either way, Reese, how would you go about getting David to waive his no trade clause? Now that the Mets are finally contenders?

Bob, that's why they will go for 3-4 year contracts. But they are nit going to mortgage years 4-8 with bloated contracts. Frankly I don't want them to either. Young, hungry players is what wins you championships, not fat free agents. Since when did free agents guarantee anything except players getting very very rich?

You may say the time is NOW and I hear you, but let's be honest, we Met fans beg and shout for free agents every single year.

I'm all for spending money but by taking some smart risks that aren't "all or nothing."

Alexander Han said...

Guys, what I'm hearing from everyone is not Sell High, Buy Low, I'm hearing Sell High, Buy High.

bob gregory said...

That approach results in sacrificing potential results for the 3+ years now.

You have better alternatives to increase potential results during the 3+ years the starting pitching is here??

Though free agents may not guarantee anything....
NOT spending only guarantees more short term profit by the owners.

bob gregory said...

This team needs offense to maximize the starting pitching worth.

It is past the rebuilding years.

Buying low candidates only is a big risk.

Mack's Mets © 2012