Ernest Dove - Mets Trade Him or Keep Him: Dilson Herrera


  Amongst the hit or miss 'aging' free targets the Mets acquired in the past few years there was the eventual solid pick up of veteran Marlon Byrd.  Marlon appeared to come back out of nowhere in his mid to late 30s to have a huge bounce back season while with the Mets, leading to a resurgence which eventually led the still non playoff contending Mets to sell him off with others in a package that included a still young teenager named Dilson Herrera.

  Fast forward a few years and boom, Dilson Herrera, statistically, has been living up to the hype and possibly looking like a steal in this trade.  But of course things may not always go perfectly according to plan. 

  The other guy in that trade, who at the time many of us probably thought was the bigger piece in the trade, was Vic Black, the hard throwing righty who at this point is nowhere to be found in the organization.  So the trade now comes down to Dilson and his development.  But, will his development reach its full capacity for another ball club?

  Dilson will play out the entire 2016 season as a 22 year old. Minor league status, as we all know, can often be misleading, but the fact remains that Herrera is a career .304 hitter as a professional. A career .369 OBP with an .838 OPS throughout his 4 year 453 game professional career.  

  Helping the bump up the power numbers are the fact that Dilson, during each and every full season minor league team year, went over 20 doubles and topped 10 homers every time. Adding to the tools in the toolbox are the 10+ steals in each full season league and a few triples along the way and what you have is a young man who look pretty solid and has the makeup of a major leaguer.

  However, after waiting in the wings behind Daniel Murphy the past few years to continue his development, Herrera has only received a few cups of coffee in the league ,which include a true rush job out of desperation straight from AA ball when he made his debut with the organization.  Since then Herrera has only played sparingly across two seasons, with only 169 plate appearances, and only has a .215 BA, .308 OBP and a .690 OPS to show for his limited chances.

  Then comes the 2015 offseason, with the Mets ultimately deciding to offer Murph the qualifying offer, and Murphy ultimately declining the offer, making him a free agent and the young, talented but unproven Herrera the man for the job.........That is until the Mets went out and traded for Neil Walker, who has all but been guaranteed the position of 2nd base for at least the entire 2016 season, if not beyond. So, what to do with Dilson Herrera?

  According to baseball reference, Dilson is under some serious Mets control here, which includes not event being arbitration eligible until 2019 and will not hit free agency until 2022......2022........The good news obviously is that the Mets have complete control of Herrera according to these numbers.  However, what is also undeniable is that Dilson Herrera has already succeeded, above and beyond, at every minor league level already.  He has 327 at bats at the AAA level, spanning 81 games.  His number were outstanding, but his numbers were put up in the PCL. 

  There's talk from media, scouts, writers and the like that Dilson has the potential to be a perennial all star.  But there is also talk of Dilson still needing  'seasoning', specifically on the defensive end, where he appears to only project as a second baseman, and second baseman alone, with zero talk of moving him to any other position on the diamond.

  Conceivably, Dilson Herrera, depending on who you ask, could probably still benefit from another quarter, half, to full season at the AAA level to further work on his game.  But I guess I'm trying to think about other aspects to this.  For example, might Dilson's trade value currently be at its highest right now?  His overall numbers at the major level are not eye popping, but he has shown 'pop' at the level.  I still have that memory of him fighting off like 12 pitches against Aroldis Chapman during an at bat.  So would now be the time to trade such a top prospect, mainly because technically he is still just that......a prospect?

  I believe Neil Walker can simply be dropped after the 2016 season, with or without a possible qualifying offer of his own next offseason.  Nobody appears to be expecting any kind of significant drop off offensively from the switch hitting Walker, so his trade value should also be strong.  And we can never discount the fact that Walker is a veteran, and the Mets are now perennial playoff contenders, and with the young rotation finally just about to start non innings restrictions, along with a young Conforto and still unproven as an EVERY DAY player TDA, the Mets possibly can't afford to have taken the risk of also adding Dilson in the fold to go through his ups and downs full time at the highest level.

  So, what say you Mack's Mets?  Keep him another season? Trade him RIGHT NOW?  Wait and trade him at the next deadline for a playoff push?


eraff said...

I always felt Dilson was the biggest piece of the deal---Black was a quickly available Live Arm.

Dilson Projects as a very solid all around player. He has high positives as both a Bat and a Glove.... they need to provide him with an opportunity or two to fail. I suspect they will.

Mack Ade said...

I think... and hope... that Herrera will get his shot to play fulltime, probably now in 2017. He and Dominic Smith could be around on that side of the infield for a very long time.

Dallas said...

I love watching out players develop and succeed. I would love to see him get another chance to blossom into a star. The Walker move is great because we get Murphys first round pick and next year we will get Walkers first round pick and hopefully replace him with Dilson.

Reese Kaplan said...

A lot of what to do with Dilson Herrera has to do with the development of Gavin Cecchini and, to a lesser extent, Matt Reynolds. If they both are doing well, then the Mets might consider moving Herrera to help in another position as you are obligated to Cabrera for one more year after this one.

Of course, if Herrera is knocking the cover off the ball, then it may be Walker who is peddled at the trading deadline.

Thomas Brennan said...

Man, don't look at Dilson's struggles last year as a sign of inability. He was 20.

Mike Schmidt at 23 played in 132 games and hit a paltry .196. He turned out all right.

Dilson Herrera is a future All Star. Let him do it as a NEW YORK MET.

Ernest Dove said...

Im just not sure I see a future for Cecchini or Reynolds on Mets 25 man roster. .......
Not unless Herrera is packaged for an all star or Mets decide to give up on Wilmer.
If Cabrera remains healthy and productive he will be the veteran bridge during these next two playoff drive seasons while we await Amed Rosario......or at least one of the other 50 SS prospects in the low minors.

Dallas said...

If Reynolds sees the light of day then things have gone wrong (injuries) or he has really turned his game around. He had a disaster of a year last year for Vegas. Will be interesting to see the development growth of Cecchini and Rosario this year.

eraff said...

I expect the mets to sign a lot of Money signing several of their pitchers. In 2-3 years, they will be heavily weighted to Pitcher Salaries, with relatively lower/under control positional obligations: Rosario, Smith, Herrera, Plawecki, Nimmo, Conforto...etc

Anonymous said...

I don't see the debate. Walker is signed for one year. Much of the appeal of the Walker move was that it gave the Mets another year to evaluate and develop Herrera, who could be the starting 2B for the next five years, beginning in 2017.

When Wright goes down, Walker could shift to 3B and Herrera might be called it. Certainly a possible scenario.

Meanwhile, his value has not reached anything close to his ceiling yet, so trading him now would be selling far too low.

You keep this guy, especially on a financially-strapped team like the Mets.

Am I saying don't trade him under any circumstances? Of course not.

James Preller

Mack Ade said...


all the pressure is off the kid now... sit him down and convince him that the future is his and that he and Dominic Smith represent that side of the infield come 2017 for many many years

Unknown said...

Excellent comment I totally agree although I think if and when Wright misses time they will play Flores at third

James Preller said...


I agree that Flores is the club's first option at 3B right now, but he's not my first option. I like him in that utility role, not as a regular 3B.

Stephen Guilbert said...

Great post, Ernest.

I think the main concern with Dilson Herrera is hitting quality major league fastballs. That's the only thing I've both heard scouts worry about as well as the numbers (albeit in a very brief sample) supporting. I think the idea is to let him face better pitching in Triple-A for longer, protect against risk in 2016 in a season they'll be chasing a title, and give him the full time spot in 2017, like Mack said.

Mack Ade said...

Stephen -

Miss your posts.

Richard Jones said...

Trade him to the Dodgers for Kershaw and Seager.

Mack's Mets © 2012