Reese Kaplan -- The Waiting Is The Hardest Part


The internet is ablaze with rumors that the Mets are interested in pursuing J.D. Martinez of Detroit should the Yoenis Cespedes reunion fail to materialize.  Other names mentioned as backup plans include Andrew McCutchen and Ryan Braun. 

Given Sandy Alderson’s history, you would think that this order is actually his order of preference.  Martinez is under contract for under $12 million this coming season and then hits free agency.  McCutchen is a $29 million or so total commitment for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.  Braun is the big buck option with $20 million per year due for the next four years (assuming they would buy out his age 37 season by exercising the $4 million out option).  

My question to frugal Sandy is why not trade for one of these alternatives REGARDLESS of what happens in the Cespedes negotiations?  Let’s assume a miracle occurs and you retain Cespedes’ services.  (Apparently it did.  Tuesday afternoon stories appeared saying that Cespedes was back for 4/$110 million).  You’ve already got his money in the budget so that’s a wash for the 2017 payroll.  Trading one of Curtis Granderson ($15 million) or Jay Bruce ($13 million) for prospects would pay for the new acquisition.  Trading both would actually put you ahead of the payroll curve and provide you with an outfield of Cespedes/McCutchen/Conforto (or feel free to substitute Martinez or Braun with Conforto being force-fed into centerfield). 

If you did trade away both of them, you still have left handed power coming from Lucas Duda, Conforto and the switch hitters Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker.  That’s an almost perfect balance of four left handed hitters and four right handed hitters whenever a righty pitches.  You could then have 6 right handed bats and two lefties (unless they do platoons using Lagares on those days with Conforto and Flores for Duda) when lefties pitch.  All in all, that could work and not bankrupt them in payroll.

Like most Mets fans, I’m growing rather impatient that NOTHING is happening while other teams actively try to improve their rosters.  The excuse that they need to wait for the Cespedes matter to settle is a fallacy as evidenced by the payroll examples I just provided.  Granted, they need to fortify the bullpen, keep a close watch on the catching situation and budget for payroll increases for some of the pitchers.  However, doing nothing is not a formula for success, particularly when your team right now is likely worse than the 2016 one-and-done squad from a year ago.

What I think will happen is that if they do manage to retain Cespedes then they will trade Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson for minor league prospects (and payroll savings), then go to battle with essentially what they had last year.  Then will enthusiastically spin the return of Duda and Wright as the offensive “improvements” so greatly needed.  They will crow about the infield depth of Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera should injuries occur again.  They’ll add some middle relievers try to compensate for the loss of Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas.  They’ll sign some has-beens to minor league deals as AAA fodder for pitching rotation depth.  

Sounds familiar, huh?


Mack Ade said...

Reese -

Good morning.

Events yesterday probably will alter how the Mets move further. I would rather... for now... pencil in Cespedes and Conforto as my corner outfielders,keep Lagares in center either as a starter or backup, and make Granderson the backup corner outfielder. As for the fifth guy, and probably center fielder, I don't think he's on the roster yet. Could be Nimmo. Could be an outsider, but definitely not Bruce.

I'll miss the potential of a great bat from Bruce, but I would deal him for 2-3 top prospects. Tom and I talked earlier this week about how the Yankees have done a better job than the Mets on securing young prospect talent. We need to replenish our system for the future.

Anonymous said...

Trade Bruce to Detroit for Justin Wilson and a lower level prospect

Anonymous said...

Or trade Bruce to Toronto for Max Pentecost and Connor Greene

Reese Kaplan said...

Someone floated an interesting Bruce trade idea. The White Sox are rumored to be looking to move David Robertson. He earns $12 million for this year and $13 million for next. Bruce earns $13 million for this year. Yes, you're obligating yourself to one additional year, but think about what a shutdown bullpen you would have and no increase in payroll.

Dallas said...

Yeah, I think there is no way you can keep Bruce. He is a nice bat but his fielding negates a lot of the positives there. Might as well get as much value from him as you can. I like the idea of Conforto, Lagares, Cespedes manning the OF. I think what they need is an upgrade at catcher. d'Arnaud has been miserable. Even if he turns his bat around his defense really hurts them.

Mack Ade said...

Dallas -

We tend to forget that Lagares was a Golden Glove winner before he got injured and lost his job. The Mets need better defense, especially in the outfield. He can bat .260+ batting eighth and he and Cespedes give you two potential Golden Glovers in the outfield.

Thomas Brennan said...

I would do that Dave Robertson deal for Bruce, and Nimmo is a fine 5th outfielder. Were it not for a late huge TJ Rivera surge, he would have won PCL batting title. He is ready enough.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I agree.

Bruce for Robertson would work for me, especially with the impending Familia suspension.

Anthony Carnacchio said...

Bruce for russel Martin

Thomas Brennan said...

Grandy will make $3 million more than Bruce, and as age erodes the most focused, hard-working ballplayers, such as Curtis, perhaps he gets moved instead. My bet? They keep gentleman Curtis, because he is a class act and to keep a major African American presence on the team, which encourages a diversity of fans.

Adam Smith said...

First, thank goodness they got the Cespedes deal done. I am pretty sure that Granderson stays and Bruce is a goner. It'll be interesting to see what they can get for him. Assuming there are no real catching upgrades available, you'd think it will be for bullpen help, but he really might be most valuable if moved for prospects, with Sandy looking to sign two or three reclamation to mid-level relievers and see what sticks. Just about any team that wants to trade for one year of Bruce would probably be in win now mode, so likely willing to give up more in prospects than a currently effective reliever. That would be fine with me. Let's get a high upside 3B who's a year away, and maybe a lottery ticket flyer on a toolsy A-ball OF. Then you start the season with Wheeler and one of Lugo or Gsellman in the 'pen, along with whichever FA reliever makes it through ST.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I agree.

Grandy is the toast of the town right now and I just don't see any team wanting to pick up the remaining amount on that contract.

Mack Ade said...

Adam -

I go for high level prospects.

Let's remember that Jose Reyes, Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, and Rene Rivera are all scheduled to hit free agency after this next season.

The system needs to be replenished.

bob gregory said...

I would still encourage trading Both Bruce and Granderson.

The objective would be to improve in the area of batting avg and potential centerfield play.

Lagares has demonstrated promise offensively and defensively. Unfortunately he has also demonstrated a discouraging tendency to miss significant time due to injuries. Providing a more reliable centerfield option or insurance for Lagares is important. It is time to allow Cespedes to move out of centerfield in order to better protect his health and comfort.

Potential centerfield targets: ?
Cameron Maybin
Charlie Blackmon
Jackie Bradley Jr

Hobie said...

Bruce, Grandy, Duda--one goes before ST, another (or 2) at deadline.

If it's Grandy (3rd choice): Lagares, Conforto & Bruce play apprx 2/3G. Duda/Wright platoon at 1B, Wilmer & Jose split 3B. Come July, Nimmo & D.Smith replace Duda & Bruce.

If it's Duda: Lagares-Grandy-Bruce split 2/3G. Conforto/Wright platoon at 1st until July (see above).
If it's Bruce (most likly): Legares-Grandy-Conforto split CF/RF 2/3G. Duda/Wright to July.

In all these scenarios, the LHB's (+ whatever) bring back RP, catching &/or prospects/

Anonymous said...

Toronto will not trade the Canadian born Martin

Dallas said...

Mack, Reyes is a free agent in 2018 but something tells me he will be back if he is decent this year. He wants to be in NY.


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