You may have already seen MetsBlog quoting Impacto Deportivo’s report that Carlos Gomez has been told to stop playing winter ball — feeding speculation that he is on his way to Minnesota as part of a deal for Johan Santana.
Naturally, I like the idea of the Cy Young Award-winning lefty coming to Flushing. However, I’m not certain I’m on board with a deal that sends Carlos Gomez and/or Fernando Martinez the other way. Yes, I know the Mets have to give up at least one of them (FMart or Gomez), but my hope has been that it would be the younger, more raw, FMart, rather than Gomez or both of them.
To me, Gomez is closer to MLB ready, and has already shown — at the big league level — at least three tools: speed, arm, and fielding prowess. All three of those tools are above average; some might say they are outstanding. Of course, the big question is will he hit — and I liked what I saw of his bat in his debut. Although there was a lot of swinging and missing, a lot of getting fooled, what I liked was his ability to think from at-bat to at-bat, and to slowly apply what he was learning. It looked to me like he was making adjustments every day; he didn’t perform exceptionally partially because he was way overmatched and partially because he was over-aggressive — typical of nearly all young hitters. No, he does not have the bat speed of a Lastings Milledge, but I think he has enough to be a strong MLB hitter. He may not win a batting title nor a homerun title, but I believe Carlos Gomez has a legitimate shot to be solid all-around player — similar to Carlos Beltran.
Now there’s where the issue lies — most likely, Gomez projects best as a centerfielder, where he could win a Gold Glove some day and won’t have to hit with great power to justify his place in the lineup. But that path is blocked by Beltran, and so it makes sense that the Mets are more easily parting with Gomez rather than F-Mart.
However, to me, F-Mart is still this huge mystery — all I’ve seen of him is the day he stood in left field for an inning in spring training when he was 17 years old. The reports are astounding — maybe too good. It would appear he has too much “potential” and not enough performance. In the long run, the Mets are probably better off keeping F-Mart, grooming him to take over a corner outfield spot by, say, 2010. But that seems so far away, and he seems to have a long way to get there.
As long as only one of Gomez / F-Mart exits — and not both — I’ll probably be very accepting of a trade for Johan Santana. If both go — as the Twins have supposedly demanded — it makes the Lastings Milledge trade all the more glaring. I’ll be surprised if the Mets finish the winter trading away all three of their future star outfield prospects — leaving the minor league system almost completely barren of positional prospects.
Methinks this deal is really, finally going to happen — possibly by next week. So what’s your thought? Should the Mets trade Carlos Gomez? F-Mart? Both? Neither? Post your comment below …