The Fantasy 3-Way Deal: No Gio for Metsies

Amid these new rumors circulating around New York Mets and Oakland A’s left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez; I have cultivated a 3-way trade proposal.

Thursday night, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Mets are in on the 25-year-old left-hander. Along with the Mets, the Seattle Mariners, Miami Marlins (they should just go away now), Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox, and the Texas Rangers all have interest in the southpaw.

So it comes as a surprise that the Mets are even talking to any teams at this point; let alone going after a high-profile lefthander.

But my judgment says the Mets are nothing going strictly for Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez would be a nice fit in a rotation but he’s a now pitcher. The Mets aren’t a “now” team. They are a later team. I think everyone has come to terms that the Mets will not be competitive for a few years.

So here’s a 3-way trade scenario I made up. This involves the Toronto Blue Jays (Note: I am not a general manager, nor am I a business major. I know if Blue Jay fans read this they’ll go after my neck but I felt that this is how this deal gets done.):


In this trade, the Blue Jays receive an already proven pitcher. In the American League East, you need solid pitching. We already know that the Blue Jays won the bidding rights for Japanese stud Yu Darvish. However, the Jays lack left-handed starters (and effective ones). If you put Rickey Romero and Gonzalez in a rotation with Darvish*, Brandon Morrow, and the 5th spot being up for grabs; you have a rotation that is ready to compete. The Blue Jays are a now team. GM Alex Anthopoulos has shown he is ready to make the steps to the next level. The Jays recently switched their logos to the old Blue Jay, with future star Brett Lawrie saying, “I feel that this year is our year” (Can’t find the video…grr..really cool video though). The Blue Jays believe they can compete and with the acquisitions of Darvish* and Gonzalez, they would be a force to reckon with, including with the new wild card system.

From the Oakland A’s perspective, Billy Beane has made it known: he wants prospects (like usual). The A’s receive an already proven young left-handed pitcher, Jon Niese, who is under club control for another four years. That’s four years for A’s to ponder what they want to do with Niese. Niese can blossom into the pitcher we want to see. Maybe he’ll find himself somewhere else?

Rumor has it that the A’s want a “future third-basemen”. Slot in Wilmer Flores. When you think future, you think of 2 years (even though I don’t know if the A’s will ever be competitive again). Wilmer Flores is not going to play in New York. While many are still hyping him up, he just has not performed well enough for me to remain drooling over. He is expendable, in my opinion. Now you throw in an MLB-ready talent like right-handed pitcher Henderson Alvarez, you might have a deal. Alvarez dazzled as a 21-year-old in AA, posting a 2.86 ERA with am 1.11 WHIP. He was called up in August by the Jays and went 1-3 with a 3.53 ERA in 10 starts.

Finally, the Mets haul. The Mets would receive another left-handed pitcher in Brett Cecil. A former first-round selection out of Maryland, Cecil has pitched well in the AL East. While his numbers aren’t exactly standout numbers, Cecil sits in a low to mid 90s. He has a somewhat lazy delivery but gets some nice bit off his fastball. In 2010, he had a 2.6 WAR, however it dropped to 0.4 in 2011, mainly because he was wild. I’ve always been a fan of Cecil ever since he was drafted. I felt the Jays rushed him a bit but he’s starting to find himself. I feel that his biggest weakness is pitching in the American League East and a change of scenery would be best for him.

And here’s where the deal gets sweet. The Mets would receive Blue Jays prized prospect Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud was originally drafted in 2007 by the Philadelphia Phillies. How sweet would it be to have him as the Mets back stop for years to come?

Rated the 36th best prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, d’Arnaud did not disappoint in 2011. The 22-year-old hit .311 with 21 home runs and 78 runs batted in at Double-A New Hampshire. The only concerns are over his glove and if he can make the step to being an all around catcher (aka: Matt Wieters). But still, he’s a catcher of the future. Not Josh Thole. And by a catcher of the future, think a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good catcher!

The Mets also receive a pitcher! A possible clone of Jon Niese in Griffin Murphy. The Jays draftEd High-school heavy in the past two drafts, which is why some guys get lost in their system, like Murphy. Murphy was selected in the 2nd round in 2010 and pitched so-so in Rookie League. He walked 16 in 41 innings. He has to have more control since he really isn’t a power lefty. His frame (6’3″ 200) is intriguing because if he could fill it out, say gain another 15 pounds, he might get the velocity that is missing. Clearly, I used him in this proposal as a throw in player. Sure you could pray for a Justin Nicolino or a Deck McGuire, but the Jays are parting with d’Arnaud and Alvarez.

So tell me, what would you give up for Jon Niese? If you were GM Sandy Alderson, would you entertain this offer? Is it too much? Or just right?

Kyle Schnitzer's biggest memory as a Mets fan is when Carlos Beltran went down on strike 3 against Adam Wainwright in game 7 of the NLCS. Since then, he hasn't expected much from the Mets. The new regime gives him hope. When he's not writing here, he's writing somewhere else, bussing tables, tweeting, or riding his bike. Follow him on Twitter: @dakyleschnitzer
  1. mistermet December 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm
    Sounds like a great deal for the Mets. To get a franchise catcher in D’Arnaud, along with decent major league pitcher in Cecil and a lottery ticket in Murphy and only have to deal Niese and Flores? I’d do it without hesitation. Flores is a lottery ticket himself…I hold out hope that he busts out into a Miguel Cabrera type hitter but that outcome is so rare. And Niese is a nice pitcher and probably even a little undervalued by many but I really don’t think he’ll ever be good enough to front a rotation. That’s the type of pitcher I’m willing to move at peak value for a potential star catcher.

    I’d imagine the Mets might have to send another player Oakland’s way, which I wouldn’t be against as long as it’s not a Harvey/Wheeler/Familia/Mejia/Ike Davis type.

  2. Murph December 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm
    Send me Send me!!!!!!!!!!!!
  3. Steve S. December 18, 2011 at 9:00 pm
    Great deal for the Mets—getting back a top, young catcher (a real need), a young, LH replacement starter for Niese (who had an ERA+ in the AL East that was better than Niese’s in the NL East), and another young pitcher for their system.

    I think Toronto is giving up a bit much though.

  4. mwarriner December 19, 2011 at 12:28 am
    You’re kidding, right? The Blue Jays wouldn’t trade d’Arnaud even up for Niese. The Mets would have to send more back to get just him, let alone the others. The idea that Toronto would give up Henderson Alvarez (who is probably better than Niese), d’Arnaud, who is probably more valuable now than Niese, along with two other players is absurd. Sure Gio Gonzales is good, but the Mets make off like bandits in this suggestion. If the Mets are just giving up Niese and Flores then they’re sending a ton back to Toronto to get d’Arnaud, and I don’t think they have a ton.
  5. BERMUDA December 19, 2011 at 9:28 am
    hahahaha what a pathetic proposal for the Blue Jays
  6. Izzy December 19, 2011 at 9:37 am
    One big time major flaw. Niese in Oakland… The A’s don’t want anyone with any major league service time. They’ve taken small market to a new low. Niese is too close to arb. If they get Niese they might as well keep Gio.
  7. Joe December 19, 2011 at 10:07 am
    One Mets blog suggested Oakland wasn’t hot on Gio because of all those walks and that Niese might be seen as more promising. But, this deal sounds a bit too good to be true.
  8. Billy Beane December 19, 2011 at 1:06 pm
  9. Dan the Mets Fan December 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm
    I agree that this is too crappy for the Jays, but I like the overall idea. I was trying to think up a similar scenario the other day and came up with something like this. I was thinking Flores and Niese to the A’s, Gonzalez to the Jays, and Mets get D’Arnaud. That would be a better deal for the Jays than the one you laid out, and still great for the Mets as D’Arnaud is really the only one we should care about. I think that would be too light for the A’s though, so if you could get the Jays to kick in that prospect you mentioned, the deal could work. No way they also give two more pitchers to the Mets though – maybe Cecil if he is mediocre enough and they need to clear the roster spot. However, who really cares whether Cecil is part of the deal or not? In this scenario the Mets should gun for D’Arnaud and not worry about whether they get anything else back or not.
    • Kyle Schnitzer December 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm
      I feel that after the Latos deal, anything is possible. The Jays are here now. They want to win now and they feel like they can. While the Mets getting that deep of a haul, and the A’s getting shafted a bit, I do not feel that it is that far off.

      Here’s another proposal: Take out d’Arnaud, would you accept Carlos Perez in this deal? Another young catcher in the Jays system?

      • Syed December 20, 2011 at 6:44 pm
        This trade is basically pathetic when you think about what the Jays are giving up to the A’s and the Mets. Sure we get Gio Gonzalez but honestly, have you seen how HUGE the Colosseum is ? Gio, had a ERA above 4.50 on the road and an ERA at about 7.43 against AL East competition. Acquring this guy, will very realistically BLOW up in our faces, like Vernon Wells did.
        As for the amount we give up, it’s just way too much. AA is not an idiot, D’Arnaud is very highly touted so is Henderson Alvarez and Brett Cecil is an unspectacular, but solid pitcher whose battle tested in the h3ll-h0le called the AL EAST. Sorry, but terrible trade for the Jays and an amazing trade for the Mets.
  10. umm December 19, 2011 at 1:42 pm
    Before this season d’Arnaud was ranked 36th best prospect in Baseball by BA, and Wilmer Flores was ranked 59th. Flores proceeds to struggle in AA at least superficially tanking his value, while d’Arnaud blossoms at that same level.
    So how is the second best pitcher in the deal fetching the far better prospect?
    Oh and as a bonus we get Brett Cecil a pitcher (despite poor peripherals) who has already had a better season than Niese, is the same age, and represents a realistic comparison to what Niese might be anyway if he doesn’t take the next step forward.
    Oh and we get a tall athletic young left hander who throws 93 and has a good feel for his change up, and a true curve.
    So we trade a more projectible version of Brett Cecil and an all projection prospect one more bad season away from being a bust, for Brett Cecil, the best catching prospect in baseball, and a projectible lefty and future mid rotation starter. I’d take that but it won’t happen
  11. dp December 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Henderson Alvarez… would be tough to part with, but not completely out of the question.

    The Blue Jays trading D’Arnaud is a non-starter…
    change that to Travis Snider, and you start to have a maybe what-if scenario.

  12. steve December 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm
    Sorry dudes, Jays fan over here, and in no way would the Blue Jays Henderson Alverez in the same package with Travis for Gio, and on top of that we are giving up 2 other pitchers. No shot, just not happening, and if we wanted Gio, the mets wouldnt be part of the package. The winner of this trade is the Mets getting travis, the A’s come in second getting Henderson who will more than likely be a better pitcher the Gio to begin with and the Jays come in last, so they give up the most to get the least. If i were a mets fan i’d sure as hell hope this will happen.
  13. steve December 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm
    further note, the Jays realistically could trade Henderson, Travis, Gose, McGuire and another prospect for say a Felix or Kershaw (if they were to ever be available). Just to put things in perspective. right there are our top 5 prospects and henderson wont be viewed as prospect this year, since he will be in the starting rotation at 21 years old.