Trade Target: Derek Fisher

No one inside the Mets organization will publically admit, but they have to sense what many of us have already concluded: 2017 just isn’t the Mets year. At this point, they need a GPS to find .500, let alone any of the five National League playoff spots. Readers of this blog fully understand the woes of this current team, but essentially the older Met players haven’t aged well and the injured Met players haven’t fully recovered. If they pitch well, their bats go silent, and if they score runs, their pitching staff can’t hold the lead. This is more than a 10-game cold streak, they have played nearly one-third of the season. Yes, they put together some great runs the last two seasons to make the playoffs; but in both years they started off well, tailed off in the middle and then heated up down the stretch. Now, they will have to make a concerted run at winning baseball for over 100 games. Do you see them going 65-35 or so the rest of the way? Me neither, and it’s very disappointing.

The good news is that this probably isn’t 1978, nor 1993, nor 2003 nor 2011 again. Those rock-bottom seasons (notice how they get progressively closer together) featured a roster devoid of talent, some onerous contracts and a feeble farm system. Outside architects had to be brought in to tear the entire structure down and rebuild at a very basic level, a tortuous process that took years—and didn’t always bear fruit.

Maybe wishful thinking here, but I don’t see this as the case with this current incarnation. Other than David Wright’s insurance-covered deal, they are fine in the contract department.  In Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Yoenis Cespedes and probably Michael Conforto and Wilmer Flores, they have a decent cadre of core players. If the scouting reports are indeed true, they will be adding another solid piece whenever Amed Rosario is finally summoned from Vegas. Looking ahead to 2018, they should have two outfield and two infield spots covered, as well as a pair of top-of-the-rotation arms. The task between now and next year’s Spring Training is to supplement that core with some better players than the ones they have now. Which brings us to Mr. Fisher.

Unlike the Mets, the Houston Astros are having a phenomenal year. As of today’s writing (June 7) they are an incredible 42-16. Even if they “slow down” to a .600 pace they are on track for a triple-win digit year. Yet, they have weaknesses. Their bullpen needs another arm. Nori Aoki is slashing 258/307/315 for them in left and their DH is a 40 year-old Carlos Beltran. But if ever a team looked poised to win it all, this is it. Pardon the expression but they should be “all in.” The Mets have players to deal and would match up well with the Astros. They could offer Houston either Lucas Duda or Addison Reed for Fisher.  I wouldn’t be averse to packaging both of them together to get Fisher in return. Since Houston is looking for more production in their outfield, perhaps they would consider taking Jay Bruce in place of one or either piece. Maybe even Jerry Blevins, although that’s cutting a bit into next year’s team for the Mets, and I am not ready to punt 2018 just yet.

Currently Fisher is slashing 338/403/604 in the PCL. Yes, it’s the Pacific Coast League, but consider the fact that the highly-regarded Rosario is slashing 340/383/494 in the same league. Both players currently have 11 stolen bases. Imagine those two dynamos at the top of the Mets order.

Fisher has power from the left side, and has and has the ability to steal bases. There are concerns about his defense, which may relegate him to a corner outfield position (making Conforto a full time CF). But IMO this type of trade is a perfectly acceptable risk to take. Fisher probably isn’t ready to contribute to the Astros this year. Duda, Bruce, Reed, etc. could.  None of the Mets expiring contracts are likely to return next year. This type of return beats a draft pick or whatever the going rate is these days for losing a player to Free Agency.

They’ll still need plenty of shoring up elsewhere, especially the bullpen, but Fisher could be a useful piece to what is hopefully a quick turnaround from mediocrity.

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. Vilos June 8, 2017 at 8:57 am
    Thanks for keeping MT alive. What happened to Janish? His pen, wit and baseball iq is missed.
    With respect to your post, maybe or maybe not.
    If Fisher is a real talent, then ok. It’s always a good idea to get talent.
    But if not, then why waste a deal on the outfield? WEte pretty much set of 2018 and some 30 yr ok old insuarance should be available in the offseason.
    We really don’t need that much. 3b, c and plenty of arms
    Thanks again
  2. Vilos June 8, 2017 at 8:58 am
    Meant to write: were pretty much set in the of (outfield) for 2018
  3. Dan Capwell June 8, 2017 at 9:30 am
    Thanks Vilos. Joe is alive and well and I have read some of his more recent work via LinkedIn. I think that after 2,000+ posts, he deserved a break!

    I generally agree with you–getting bullpen help should be the Mets top priority between the trade deadline and spring training. Also in some ways, Fisher is the exact opposite of what the team needs, which is to get stronger defensively up the middle, I’m not sure that Conforto in CF gets you that.

    But his bat and his ability to steal bases is very intriguing.

    • Dan42 June 9, 2017 at 6:00 am
      I’d concentrate on SS, 3B, C and pitching, with Lagares in CF at least until he proves his bat is gone. He hit decently when he first came up, struggled while recovering from injury, and has been hurt by lack of PT. Over the last 3 years he had only 21 weeks with 20 or more PAs, with over 100 wRC+ in 12 of those weeks, so he has demonstrated some skill with the bat when given opportunity.
      • Dan Capwell June 9, 2017 at 6:33 am
        I would be very tempted to leave Wilmer at 3B. He’s hitting 317/344/488. We’d be going nuts if he was doing that elsewhere. Yes, his defense is horrible, but he hits.

        I think Rosario will make a big difference at SS. They might as well play Lagares in center, given his contract. I am assuming Dom Smith will play 1B next year. That leaves 2B and C.

        It is highly unlikely they get a trade partner willing to give them much for TdA, so either they trot him out there again or go the FA route. They had rumored interest in Lucroy at one point, but I can’t see them shelling out too much to get him. And…they were also rumored to like Walker enough to offer him an extension.

        This is a long-winded way of saying they might bring back pretty much the same lineup next year, perhaps with Rosario, Smith and Lagares as starters. Walker and TdA are the other possible goners. I think the bullpen gets a major overhaul and they keep their fingers crossed about the starters in year two after major surgeries.