Reese Kaplan -- Shutdown Pen or Future Trade Bait?

Ernest Dove just penned a good analysis of the Mets bullpen for the upcoming season. Gone seem to be the days when the team would struggle to find 5-7 capable arms, turning to people like Pedro Beato, Blaine Boyer and Manny Acosta. Now, in addition to shutdown closer Jeurys Familia, the team can offer up Antonio Bastardo, Addison Reed, Erik Goeddel, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles and others. Even with the announcement that they've cut ties to Carlos Torres, the Mets still have Josh Edgin, Rafael Montero, Logan Verrett and Sean Gilmartin ready to step up should any of these stalwarts fail.

What's interesting to me, however, is not necessarily the depth of the bullpen, but the fact that in all likelihood Gilmartin, Montero and Verrett will be stretched out as starters in Las Vegas. On the surface it seems unlikely they will be needed with the stellar rotation of Matt Harvey, Jacob de Grom, Noah Syndergaard, Steve Matz and Bartolo Colon taking the ball every five days for the big club. What then does it mean to have this kind of depth at the front and back end of ballgames?

Last year's flurry of personnel changes in the second half that brought Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed, Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe, Kelly Johnson and Eric O'Flaherty to the Mets came at a somewhat hefty price. It meant the departures of Casey Meisner, Matt Koch, Miller Diaz, Michael Fulmer, John Gant, Rob Whalen and Darwin Frias to acquire these players that (with the exception of O'Flaherty) helped propel the Mets to their first World Series appearance in 15 years. Given the resulting success of these moves, pretty much anyone would do it again in a heartbeat. However, all of these one-way tickets for prospects left the system a bit barren of future chips should the need arise to bolster the major league roster once again.

This time, however, the players the Mets have to offer up in trade may come at a higher level with a greater predictability for success. Take Rafael Montero, for example. Despite a rocky appearance in Las Vegas and health problems during the past year, his track record is undeniable. He soared through the farm system with ease and owns an impressive minor league record of 35-20 with a 2.72 ERA and 4 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. If he can get back on track then he opens up not only trade possibilities to begin his major league career elsewhere, but also the very real possibility of considering a Matt Harvey trade to shore up the offense with another organization's under-control bats with Montero stepping into the Mets' rotation.

A lot of space has been occupied with conjecture that the Mets would not be able to pony up what it would take to keep the young guns in Queens as they reach their free agency years. Consequently, it would appear they are also playing both sides against the middle, trying to bring other inexpensive arms into the mix should a trade need to be made. Zack Wheeler's return muddies the picture further. Yes, Bartolo Colon can slide to the bullpen where he performed well in the World Series last year, but that transition does nothing to help with the 2017 season and beyond.

The question I pose to the readers today is what would be considered an equitable return for Matt Harvey should he wind up on the trading block? Would it be a regular player with some proven track record such as Mookie Betts or Xander Bogaerts, or would it be some other club's top 2-3 prospects?   


Ernest Dove said...

Thank u for the shoutout Reece ;)

Its time we give all the credit in the world to Sandy, his staff and......gulp......the Wilpons.

Not only are the above mentioned bullpen arms a solid group, they are also pretty much all under full team control in 2016. Fair or not they can all be optioned to start year in Vegas without risk of waived stuff. Amazin depth as needed in case of emergency

As for Harvey I believe the biggest theory is trading him next offseason because he will be at his HIGHEST trade value because he will have TWO MORE YEARS of team control left to entice every team in the mlb.
IMO the bare minimum package in trade would be a seager+Urias+another top 20team prospect in return type deal. I can't remember specifics on the rumor but I think the jose Fernandez to dodgers rumor was killed because marlins wanted also perderson instead of that additonal prospect.

Anonymous said...

Yo, I think you guys are off-topic today.

Sometimes you got to blow up the regularly scheduled program.

James Preller

Zozo said...

Now that we signed Cespy for at least a year next on deck is to try and sign these young starters to long term deals. If any of them don't agree to these type deals, then you might want to trade them at least a year before they become free agents.

Metsiac said...

It never ends, does it? What can't we enjoy the moment instead of looking at how to break up the team in a year or two? Why don't we repeat the Seaver trad and give Harvey up for some combo of Steve Hendersn, Doug Flynn and othe s?

Let's see how things go this year and beyond before planning future moves.

Carpe diem!

Thomas Brennan said...

agree, Metsiac. We need to comprehend that tickets sales will surge this year. Maybe the World Series again. So much extra revenue will put Mets in the drivers seat. they can do what they want.

Reese Kaplan said...

This piece was written before the surprising Yoenis Cespedes development, but the fact remains that it's going to be very expensive to retain all of the pitchers and you have just one more year of Granderson, potentially losing Cespedes as well. No one knows what to expect from Wright either. Neil Walker is gone after one year and Asdrubal Cabrera departs alongside Granderson. Consequently the offense is far from solved for the future.

Mack Ade said...


Stubby said...

I'm not interested in trading Harvey...at least not until he reaches his free agency year. As good as deGrom and Thor and Matz have proven to be, Harvey is still the best of them. Its hard to see how much better he is only because 2015 was his first year back from TJS. It's the second year back you have to watch. Its amazing he was as good as he was his first year back. You just watch him in 2016. No innings cap, no "strategic" resting. I see 20 wins and an award named Cy in his immediate future. Could any package make it worth trading that away? How many "top" minor league prospect super heroes would make Gotham trade the other Dark Knight? Sure, maybe you'd enquire of Metropolis about Superman, but they aren't making that deal.

Mack's Mets © 2012