Dillon Gee Will Wind Up In Texas This Week
Fearless prediction: Dillon Gee will wind up in Texas before the end of the winter meetings. And I have rock-solid information to support it.
There is buzz that the Mets are shopping Gee to — among other teams — the Texas Rangers, and the Rangers are reportedly listening, as they need pitching. Additionally, though there haven’t been any rumors suggesting it, I bet the Astros would have interest in Gee, for a few reasons. First off, they seem to like “good clubhouse guys” like Scott Feldman, and Gee would be a good fit in providing an example to the youngsters on their pitching staff. Second, one of their starters, Brad Peacock, had minor hip surgery in October and won’t be ready at the start of spring training — which means, he can’t necessarily be counted on to be ready when the season starts. Further to that point, I wonder if Houston would consider moving Peacock to the bullpen. The righthander has had middling results as a MLB starter, but he might be able to get his velocity back up to the mid-90s in a relief role; that, plus culling his repertoire down to only two pitches, could make him an effective late-inning guy — something the Astros are looking to add this winter. Just an idea.
But there’s a bigger reason I believe Gee will be in Texas this week: he lives there, in Cleburne, per the Mets Media Guide. And his dad is a fireman in Fort Worth. So, I’m guessing that there’s a really good chance that Dillon Gee will be in Texas, if not now, then for the holidays. I can’t confirm it one way or the other, but the info is solid, don’t you agree?
As for whether Gee will be traded to a Texas-based MLB club, well, there are the two possibilities mentioned above. Calm down about the Rangers, though — chances are slim that Gee will bring back Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar. Maybe a PACKAGE that includes Gee and a few others could net one of the Rangers’ young shortstops, but be prepared to also lose someone like Noah Syndegaard, Zack Wheeler, or Jacob deGrom.
Why is Gee being shopped by the Mets? It’s all about the Benjamins, folks (or is it the Pentiums?). Sandy Alderson has confirmed that payroll will be at $100M or below — and most likely, the latter. “But Gee doesn’t make all that much money,” you point out — and you’re right. But he is due for a raise through the arbitration process, and likely will receive a salary of around $5M next year. That doesn’t seem like much compared to his teammates, but that’s part of why he’s the one being shopped. In a perfect world, the Mets would shed the $11M due to Bartolo Colon in 2015. Unfortunately, few MLB teams want to take on that kind of dough for the portly pitcher — his weight and age make him risky. Fellow starter Jon Niese will make $7M, and is controllable through 2018, but his injury issues and rapidly decreasing velocity are scaring off possible suitors. With six projected starters for five spots, the Mets would like to subtract payroll via that potential surplus, and Gee appears to be their best bet in dumping salary.
Interesting, isn’t it? The New York Mets — supposedly targeting 2015 as “the year,” with their manager publicly announcing that the team is playoff-bound — are looking to dump $5M in salary. Oh, and try to get under $100M in payroll. Do any Mets fans find this upsetting?
On paper, it makes sense. Dillon Gee was not so wonderful last year, struggling in the second half and dealing with a mysterious lat injury — now would seem to be the time to cut bait, especially with a seeming surplus of starting pitching. But is there really a surplus?
The “surplus” is based on the following theories:
1. Matt Harvey will return 100% and be ready by Opening Day
2. Bartolo Colon will continue to defy all odds and remain healthy, despite his age, health, and dangerous mechanics
3. Jonathon Niese’s year-long shoulder problem and the mechanical flaw that caused it, didn’t really happen — or will magically disappear after a winter of rest
4. Zack Wheeler’s dangerous mechanical flaw won’t catch up to him in 2015
5. Jacob deGrom will be as good as he was in his magical rookie season, and the UCL he had surgically repaired in 2010 won’t be re-injured by his mechanical flaw
6. Noah Syndegaard is going to be as good as advertised, and healthy, despite being inconsistent in AAA in 2014 and suffering a flexor pronator strain
7. Rafael Montero is nearly as good as everyone attached to the Mets seems to believe
Granted, all of the above concerns are just that — concerns. There’s a good chance that Wheeler and deGrom won’t have any arm problems whatsoever in 2015. As for Colon, Niese, Syndegaard, and Harvey, I’m not so sure. And looking at this list, the Mets have the kind of depth that many other MLB teams would cherish. But that doesn’t mean it makes sense to dump salary, does it? Hey, if the Mets get a valuable asset that will contribute in 2015, then I get it. If what they receive is salary relief combined with someone who may or may not make the club at some point in 2016 or beyond, I’m not sure such a move is consistent with the message that the Mets are looking to reach the playoffs in 2015. Unless, of course, they don’t believe Gee can be part of what gets them there. Me, I think every team with postseason hopes should have as much pitching depth as possible, and if they trade any of their MLB-ready depth, it should be for MLB-ready talent.
What’s your thought? Am I off-base? Do you think my concerns are exaggerated? If you’re a Mets fan, are you fine with keeping under a $100M payroll for 2015? Why or why not? Answer in the comments.