For the past six weeks, we have witnessed an interesting transformation of what appeared to be a team going in the wrong direction during the prior six weeks.
Even though the entire Mets universe had high expectations for Matt Harvey, he has managed to exceed. Bobby Parnell has established himself as a legit closer and finally met expectations, becoming a viable long solution for New York’s longstanding 9th inning troubles. Marlon Byrd would have to be comeback player of the year, if it was awarded at mid-season. The pickup of Eric Young Jr. has given the Mets a legitimate leadoff hitter with speed, and he plays some “D” as well. And it can certainly be argued that Captain America is having his best season ever.
Others are making inspired contributions— Omar Quintanilla, Jeremy Hefner, Josh Satin, Zack Wheeler, Carlos Torres and Scott Rice come to mind. The Mets catching corps has supplied plenty of pop and RBI.
Juan Lagares (who shows great promise) and Valdespin (who is the odd man out and was demoted this weekend) must play every day at Triple-A for the rest of the 51s season.
Will Alderson & Company pull a big deal out of a hat that will heighten interest in August and September? Not likely. Will they make some edgy move? Hard to say, but we can hope, can’t we?
WHO ARE THE BEST PIECES TO MOVE?
Considering how loathe the front office is to move arms, the most prominent piece to deal has to be Daniel Murphy, who could be just the prescription for several teams hoping to be in the—the Dodgers and Royals to name a couple. And with Wilmer Flores absolutely tearing it up at Triple-A and ready for The Show, Murphy is a logical choice to get the best possible return. Will he get better? Probably. But the ceiling on the 28-year-old Murphy is much lower than the 21-year-old Flores, who has more power and will likely hit for even higher average. And if Flores proves to have limited range, and less than major league skills at the second sack, they can move Eric Young Jr. there next season after a good look at Flores.
It really makes all the sense in the world to move John Buck. Sandy won’t get a whole lot for him, but Buck is probably as valuable right now as he will ever be with the Dodgers, Rays and Highlanders in the hunt for catching help. Buck has also seen his two best buddies, Brandon Lyon and Shaun Marcum, leave the Mets. Anthony Recker has shown some nice skills and can form an acceptable platoon with the talented Juan Centeno for the balance of the campaign, since no one knows if Travis d’Arnaud will even be a September call-up this year. The system is deep with Fernando Pena and Kevin Plawecki also on the horizon.
Other names being bandied about include Bobby Parnell (Alderson would have to be knocked out by the offer), Marlon Byrd (only making $700,000 and delivering $10 million production), Lucas Duda (the intercostal injury set back any hopes the Mets may have had for a deal), Dillon Gee (with the losses of Santana, Marcum and the injury to Niese, moving Dillon would be risky unless a major league ready pitcher was is the mix).
POTENTIAL SOLID DEALS
The Mets are void of southpaw starters up and down their system. The White Sox are loaded with lefties. Swapping Gee and Raphael Montero for lefties Hector Santiago and Santos Rodriquez could be useful to both organizations.
A blockbuster of sorts (at least by Mets standards) would be Murphy, Buck and Parnell to the Dodgers for Double-A OF prospect Joc Pederson and closer Kenley Jansen. Murphy can help Donny Baseball at the third sack and provide lots of two-base hits in Chavez Ravine.
Jansen has reclaimed his closer status from the overpaid (who isn’t on the Dodgers) Brandon League. Pederson is a stud prospect with five tools and hits from the left side.
HOW WOULD THE NEW METS SHAPE UP AT EACH POSITION?
FIRST BASE – Strict platoon with Davis and Satin
SECOND BASE – Lets see what Flores can do most every day
SHORTSTOP – Omar has been a revelation and can be spelled by Rylan Sandoval, Brandon Hicks, Brian Bixler or Justin Turner, all of whom can play multiple positions around the infield and outfield
THIRD BASE – The Captain
CATCHER – Strict platoon of Centeno and Recker (until d’Arnaud arrives in September?)
LEFT FIELD – Strict platoon of Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown
CENTER FIELD – Eric Young Jr., who can be spelled once in a blue moon by Nieuwenhuis. Lagares to play every day with Vegas.
RIGHT FIELD – Byrd with Pederson coming in for a look-see in September
STARTERS – Harvey, Niese, Wheeler, Santiago and Hefner
BULLPEN – Jansen, Aardsma, Atchison, Edgin, Burke, Rice, Hawkins, Torres (as the swing man)
Of course, we are speculating on these deals and roster alterations. Can this hypothetical team make a run? Who knows, but such moves, and the resulting roster, offers more than a glimpse of the future with a sensible payroll and a reasonable amount of depth and balance.
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