Think Unsexy Thoughts: The Mets Search For A Shortstop

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Terry Collins reads Mets Today! Or at least he must have read this article about the batting order as he has fulfilled almost all of my requests. Sorry about that.

The Mets are on pace for another sub 75-win season, meaning they will begin the 2015 season just about the same way they have ended every year since 2011. Probably not a coincidence but just like the end of the 2011 season, they must begin to plan for 2015 by first looking for a shortstop.

No small amount of keyboard strokes have already covered this topic ad nausea. As always, Mets Today has our own unique and frequently irreverent POV on this subject. Here are a few thoughts on some of the potential solutions to the Mets shortstop problem:

Troy Tulowitzki: Tulo has a serious injury, will be on the wrong side of 30 and whoever is stuck with his contract will be paying him for what he used to do. After several seasons of austerity and finally developing a pipeline of useful players, the Mets giving the Rockies two or three top prospects for Tulo (as well as taking on that contract), is equivalent of pinching pennies for five years, only to suddenly pull the jar full of them off the top of the fridge, driving down to the casino and putting it all on red. I can’t say with confidence that the Mets are smart enough not to make this move. In case you missed the point, I am against a trade for Tulo, unless the Rockies take Jonathon Niese and Curtis Granderson off the Mets hands, don’t demand a top pitching prospect and pick up part of his salary.

Those Cub Shortstops: Let’s see—Starlin Castro has a big contract and Javier Baez strikes out a lot. Both of those are show-stoppers IMHO, to either player becoming a Met. Now Addison Russell, well there’s a good fit. I would support a trade involving one of Zach Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom for Russell. There is a lot to like about Russell, but I doubt that Mets GM Sandy Alderson would pull the trigger on one of his young arms. While the word is that the Cubs don’t need to make a trade, I think that their GM Theo Epstein understands it’s smart to trade one or more of his offensive prospects before they struggle while learning a new defensive position and lose some value.

Those D-back Shortstops: Speaking of losing value, Didi Gregorius is a prime example of how major league pitching can expose any hot prospect. His 216/297/368 slash line is worse than Ruben Tejada‘s. In retrospect, Arizona should have listened harder to Alderson when he reached out to them about Didi two winters ago. I have read that the Diamondbacks still consider Chris Owings as part of their core. Whether that is just an opening bargaining position or an actual belief remains to be seen.

Elvis Andrus: It is fairly obvious that the Rangers’ window of opportunity has slammed shut. I have no knowledge of if they would move Elvis, who has a Texas-sized contract and is working on his second straight sub-700 OPS season.

J.J. Hardy: I still maintain that Jhonny Peralta was Alderson’s main target last season, until Peralta’s asking price destroyed Sandy’s well-laid plans. Hardy’s 2014 has been better so far than Peralta’s 2013 was and Hardy doesn’t have a PED suspension cloud over him, the way Peralta did. How do you think this will play out?

Jed Lowrie: See Hardy, JJ

Roberto Carlos: When I saw the Post headline about the Mets pursuing a Cuban, I hoped to read Yasmani Tomas’ name. Instead, it’s someone most of us have never heard of. Depends on his asking price, I guess.

Everth Cabera: He has all the earmarks of an Alderson acquisition–He’s a Padre, he had one good season about a zillion years ago and he has an affordable contract. The Pads probably wouldn’t expect much more than Logan Verrett or Rainy Lara in return, so it’s a trade Sandy could “win.”

Matt Reynolds: Let’s go back to the Tulowitzki Casino for a minute. If I had to handicap it right now, I would give Reynolds a better than even chance of being the Mets 2015 Opening Day shortstop. It is somewhat hard to ignore his offensive numbers, even with the PCL qualifier. Plus it might give Alderson and the Wilpons some smug satisfaction reminding everyone that both of the players they drafted as the result of losing Jose Reyes (Reynolds and Kevin Plawecki) are on the 25-man roster, so in effect they didn’t muff the Reyes situation.

Ruben Tejada: Because they really do want to piss us off.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. holmer August 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm
    I believe the best course of action is Cabrera & Cabrera. Asdrubel wants to play shortstop and he won’t in Washington. Plus I hear he is a great clubhouse guy. Melky will fit the bill as a professional hitter as well. You add two proven professional hitters without sacrificing the vaunted pitching and you have a winner. I don’t know why people aren’t talking about these two more often.
  2. DanB August 24, 2014 at 9:22 pm
    Matt Reynolds equals Jesus Feliciano. Don’t remember Feliciano? Exactly.
  3. DaveSchneck August 25, 2014 at 1:32 pm
    DanB,
    I do remember Jesus Feliciano, and since he is not a family member, that is really just proof that I need to find something to better occupy my time. Anyhow, Reynolds could be JF, but JF did not play a premium position.

    What, no Wilmer Flores on the list?

    The bottom line is that the Mets need to upgrade a minimum of 2 bats, and SS is one place that this can be done. Russell would be the fantasy, but the cost will likely be too high. Dealing Colon and signing one of Cabrera or Hardy would likely be the best solution. Then Alderson needs to deal for a RH OF power bat that can hit 3rd or 4th (good luck, Sandy), perhaps pick up a vet for the pen, fine tune the bench, and they will be ready to go in 2015.

  4. Ron August 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm
    Ah… Jose Reyes was a Met… just saying.