Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
There was an interesting story put out this weekend by Adam Rubin how about six teams are interested in the services of Mets outfield Alejandro De Aza. According to Rubin, any deal would be based on which team is willing to take on 100% of De Aza’s $5.75mil contract for 2016.
On the surface, I have no trouble trading De Aza, but I have no crystal ball and can’t predict if any one of the other four Mets outfielders come up lame during the season. De Aza may be an expensive insurance policy, but, if the Mets can afford to keep him, they may want to keep things the way they are.
Are their organizational options? Well, you tell me. Is Travis Taijeron or Roger Bernadina a better fifth outfielder?
By the way… it would take a De Aza vote of yes for a trade during the same year you signed him.
The Mets infield on Sunday included Ruben Tejada on second base and Matt Reynolds on shortstop and Eric Campbell on third base. I heard that David Wright is playing a minor league game today so that seems to be progressing.
We’re actually coming up on the halfway point of spring training so we need to see who has (sort of) sewed up a 25-man slot and will head up north at the end of the month.
SP – The Mets will leave camp with a rotation of Matt Harvey (1.29), Noah Syndergaard (0.00), Jacob deGrom (3.00), Steven Matz (7.20) and Bartolo Colon (6.75).
RP – ERA wise, you would think that Jeurys Familia (0.00), Hansel Robles (0.00), Addison Reed (2.25) Antonio Bastardo (3.60), and Jerry Blevens (2.08) are safe, but decisions still have to made on Jim Henderson (0.00), Sean Gilmartin (1.80), and Logan Verrett (1.80).
Infield wise, Lucas Duda (.357), Neil Walker (.267) and Wilmer Flores (.467). Ruben Tejada (.278) will back everyone up and third base is wide opening awaiting the arrival of David Wright (0-AB). The second utility spot (with the current injury to Astrubel Cabrera) would probably go to either Eric Campbell, Gavin Cecchini (.333) or Matt Reynolds (.143).
Catching wise, the slumping Travis d’Arnaud (.167) is safe, but there still needs to be a decision on whether Kevin Plawecki (.313) is better off playing every day in Las Vegas. If that happened, the backup spot would probably go to Johnny Monell (.286).
Lastly, the ‘big five’ Michael Conforto (.278), Curtis Granderson (.375), Juan Lagares (.400), Yoenis Cespedes (.368), and Alejando De Aza (.421) seem safe. Travis Taijeron (.389) and Roger Bernadina (.250) are doing everything they can to make this team but they have no chance without a De Aza trade.
Astro on Travis Taijeron –
Taijeron’s path to the Mets is not really clear (as of this writing), and his extreme strikeout rates hurt his chances of ever sticking at the highest level, but the power display he put on with Las Vegas is not common in the game right now, so he’s not a total lost cause. Although he’s not going to net the Mets anything of value in a trade, he may be of interest to other teams lacking the OF depth the Mets came into Spring Training with at the ML level. His age and inexperience really hurt his chances of getting a good look, but his power against lefties suggests he could at least be useful in a strict platoon. Overall, I have very low expectations that Taijeron will ever be more than the AAAA player he was in 2015, but there would be very little risk in a team trying him as a 5th outfielder who mostly faces lefties in the majors, with a potentially very nice reward.
Mack – In my opinion, Taijeron needs to keep hitting this spring and then go to Las Vegas and cut down on his strikeouts. There is a future path to Queens for him as the fifth outfielder.