Think Unsexy Thoughts: The Mets Search For A Shortstop
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.