Yankees Acquire Vernon Wells – Any Other OFs Available?

You may have heard that the Yankees have acquired Vernon Wells. Why should a Mets fan care?

I suppose a Mets fan shouldn’t care at all about what the Yankees are doing. But, I wanted to point out the deal because Wells is a player we discussed here at MetsToday back in December, and sometimes it’s fun to go back and re-read our thoughts with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight. Personally, I thought at the time that it made sense to look into Wells, and in the end, the Mets found a somewhat similar player in Marlon Byrd.

And notfornuthin’, but the Yankees also signed Brennan Boesch. Clearly, Brian Cashman reads MetsToday.

In all seriousness, the Yankees’ recent moves to pick up outfielders off the scrap heap is a reminder that spring training is winding down, rosters are being set, and players on other teams (i.e., “another man’s junk”) are becoming available. Toward that end, are there any outfielders that the Mets should kick the tires on?

Post your suggestions in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. argonbunnies March 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    When I heard about Granderson, I was hoping we could trade Byrd to the Yanks. Get a token minor leaguer back, talk about the long-term plan and adding organizational value, and clear the way to see what Baxter, Cowgill, Valdespin, Kirk, and maybe even Brown/Hoffman can do.

    Baxter runs better, covers more ground, and gets on base more than Byrd. Plus, at 28 with 260 MLB PAs under his belt, his upside might not be totally tapped.

    I’m not holding out hope on that front, though. My biggest hope is that by the time Nieuwenhuis gets hot at AAA, Byrd will no longer be “the new guy” (thus automatically better than the old guys), the team will realize that some things are more important than LH-RH balance, and Kirk will take Byrd’s job.

    I really do think the Mets should treat 2013’s OF as a 2014 audition.

  2. Zach March 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm
    podsednik/andruw jones/sizemore/carlos lee….all horrible options
  3. TexasGusCC March 25, 2013 at 10:14 pm
    Joe, thank you for the setup, as I was researching this very topic last night (no confession as to how late it was and I still hadn’t slept but had this team on my mind). Five guys that I think should be available:

    #1. Carlos Gonzalez: Rockies need to rebuild and his name was brought up last winter. By July, he could be had.

    #2. Giancarlo Stanton: He could be considered the #1, but I look at CarGo as all around better.

    #3. Andre Eithier: They have Puig coming up and have been talking about moving Ethier.

    #4. Allen Craig: They have the two time minor league player of the year in Matt Adams, and Oscar Taveres needs to play. With Craig’s injury history, they may just listen. He was an outfielder throughout the minors.

    #5. Dayan Viciedo: I expect the White Sox to be horrible this year. Danks is already injured, Floyd has been trending down lately, Sale will not go 19-5 this year, and Peavy is about to get hurt getting out of bed. The minor league system is dry to the bone with pitching talent and this along with an infield of Keppinger, Beckman, Ramirez (he’s pretty solid), a 38 year-old Konerko, and Flowers that — they expect to be challenged offensively — makes me think that there will be an auction started in south Chicago by the 4th of July. How Kenny Williams got a promotion, is amazing.

    #6+: Free Agents such as Ellsbury and Pence.

    Everyone of the first five guys is under 30 and the first two are ready to make a marked difference. The next three would be difference makers over what we have now. Players like Soriano, Wells and Franceour are just someone else’s leftovers and we are auditioning for next year anyway.

    • Joe Janish March 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm
      For CarGo or Stanton, the conversation STARTS with the Mets trading Wheeler and one of either Harvey or Syndegaard; possibly also Ike Davis. Is that what you want to do?

      For Craig or Ethier, Syndegaard is almost certainly in the deal if not Wheeler. I have no idea what it would take to get Viciedo. As for Ellsbury and Pence, there’s still a chance they get extended before the end of the year. Also, the Mets will have to compete with other teams looking for OF help, such as the deep-pocketed Yankees. I know everyone is very excited for the upcoming “payroll flexibility” but color me skeptical that it will motivate the Mets to get into a bidding war with the Yanks.

  4. TexasGusCC March 26, 2013 at 12:38 am
    Referring to Cargo: Joe, I understand where you are coming from, but disagree in part with your expectations. The only other team that has two top prospect pitchers to deal are the Pirates, with Cole and Tollison (although they need Gonzalez or Stanton, but more Gonzalez), and I do not see them parting with both. If anyone gives up two top starters, they can have him. We see that player control has become a valuable asset that teams aren’t ready to give up. Even the Rangers are keeping Profar down for the first few months and he is a consensus #1 prospect. In a few months, more prospects will have developed, but for right now I would offer Wheeler, Flores, Tapia or Montero, and Familia. Think anyone will trump that? Would you guys agree with offering that? I would be interested if I were the Rockies…
    • Joe Janish March 26, 2013 at 8:39 am
      Well Gus, we’ll have to agree to disagree. First, there are plenty of teams that have more than one top pitching prospect to deal — the Mets are far from unique in this aspect. Second, neither the Fish nor the Rockies “have to” deal their star OFs, so they can sit back and wait for the highest bidder — and if two starting pitchers is what they want, that’s what they’ll get. Third, you mention “player control,” and I agree — which is why CarGo has so much value; he’s signed through 2017, which is one of the reasons he’s nearly as valuable as Stanton. As for Stanton, he’s making barely over $500K and isn’t eligible for free agency until after 2016. Maybe a team would insist on negotiating an extension with him before finalizing a deal of that magnitude; he’d likely be keen to adding a year or two if it meant getting out of Miami, since at age 23 he has plenty of time to build a resume and break the bank when he finally gets to free agency.

      If I’m the GM of the Marlins or Rockies and Sandy Alderson said to me, “Hey, I’ll give you Wheeler, Flores, Familia, and one of either Tapia or Montero for CarGo,” my answer would be a slight chuckle, followed by, “and….?”

      Wheeler is a hot prospect — I get it — but he alone can’t carry a deal that includes huge question marks like Flores, Familia, and Tapia/Montero. Flores has no position and no foot speed — he projects as a first baseman or DH. So, if he doesn’t hit like an absolute beast, he has zero value. Familia is looking like a middle reliever who, because of his mechanics, is likely will have arm problems. Tapia and Montero are too far away to realistically project. Why would Colorado give up one of the best outfielders in the game, who is under age 30, and under control through the 2017 season, for that kind of package?

      • TexasGusCC March 27, 2013 at 2:11 am
        Joe,
        I understand your point, and cannot find fault in it. I do disagree with your thinking that many teams have as many top pitching prospects as the Mets have; some have one or two, but few have three rated this high. But, I get your point and to tell you the truth, would back off if the trade meant both Wheeler and Syndergaard or Harvey. One is fine, two handicaps the rotation. I’ll keep looking! ;-)
        • Joe Janish March 27, 2013 at 8:54 am
          Fair enough, Gus.

          Remember that at this point, Harvey is not considered a “prospect” – and doesn’t even qualify as a “rookie” any more. I included him because I would think that a team giving up a player like CarGo or Stanton would want at least one MLBer.

          Also, FYI, here is the “Top 100 Prospects” list from Baseball America. I wouldn’t call it an absolute, and there isn’t much point in arguing over the rankings since it’s subjective, but the list does give one an idea on what other teams have in their systems.

          http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/top-100-prospects/2013/2614739.html

  5. Izzy March 26, 2013 at 5:10 am
    These who should we get things are very frustrating knowing ful wee that none of the guys brought up will be gotten as long as we have Failureson as the GM. He hinself panned his outfield last Winer and his big moves were Byrd and Cowgill, one a reminder of his great roidal teams, and the other a small gift from his “boy” in Oakland.