Is Garrett Jones an Option?

While the Pirates pulled the rug from under the Mets and stole the coveted Jaff Decker away, they had to make a corresponding roster move: designating Garrett Jones for assignment. Might the Mets turn around and acquire Jones?

I know what you’re thinking: the Mets already have a glut of first baseman on the roster. But consider that Jones has played nearly as many MLB games in the outfield (296) as he has at first base (339). With one-time star-in-the-making Chris Young under contract to handle a corner position, and, righthanded hitting corner outfielders Andrew Brown and Cesar Puello protected on the 40-man roster, it might make sense to add a LH-hitting side to a potential platoon in either right or left field — and why not Garrett Jones?

Jones had a terrible 2013, but, when given 500 plate appearances, he’s hit at least 20 HR and posted an OPS between .720 and .938 — numbers that would seem to fit into the Mets’ strategy of focusing on power-hitting bats. He strikes out frequently, but an obnoxious amount when compared to other power hitters in today’s game. Sure, it would be nice if he drew more walks and/or played at least average defense, but considering what the Mets’ budget is and what’s available, Jones might be a good fit for the Flushing Futiles. I can easily see him paired as the lefthanded-hitting donkey of a platoon with the aforementioned Brown, with the two of them producing — offensively and defensively — what would amount to a poor man’s Adam Dunn. I know, I shouldn’t mention Dunn because Mets fantasy front office executive J.P. Ricciardi says Dunn hates baseball, but I get the feeling that both Brown and Jones like baseball a little bit, and am just using the back of Dunn’s baseball card to provide a comp for you. My apologies if anyone finds this offensive.

Of course, the Mets would have to wait for Jones to clear waivers and be outright released by the Pirates before picking him up; I doubt they’d trade any of their highly touted, valuable assets to acquire him. But considering that Jones is 32 going on 33 in June, and coming off the worst year of his career, there’s a decent shot he’ll be available free and clear a week from now.

If so, should the Mets pick him up? Why or why not? Answer 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. tom November 26, 2013 at 7:59 am
    Mets should have given flores more time in minors at 1B and gotten him in OF. His bat differs from all these 2nd rate guys, in that he will not strike out a lot. Last thing we need to see is a lineup full of high K guys. If Duda could play 0F, why not Flores?
  2. Jujo November 26, 2013 at 8:43 am
    Go ahead and sign him at this point. Its not like there are many options for 2014.
  3. helloboy November 26, 2013 at 10:02 am
    Jones also hits better as an OF (if you really believe the splits) and has hit well at Citifield in a small sample. He has a .314 avg at Citi and a .510 SLG. I can see him as a regular RF for the next year and than becoming more platoonish with Puello, if Puello shows he can play… and i have no idea if he can or can’t.
    If you claimed him on waiver, it would not cost a good prospect. Pirates would take any filler player as they would just lose him for nothing now at this point. Given his contract status, it may make sense to do this just so you do not have to negotiate a new deal, in which it may cost you more on the open market for the power bat. Plus, the 2 years left on his contract would be ideal to the Mets needs and wants.

    Jones will get you over 20 HR (probably close to 25) if he starts every day. and 70-85 RBI. I actually like Jones. Aquiring him does create a problem as it really limits what you can do with Davis and/or Murphy and that would probably mean a SS and a pitcher.
    If we can move Murphy along with Montero, Ynoa and Walters or a combination there of for Sterling Castro it would be awesome.

    1) EYJ
    2) Castro
    3) Wright
    4) Jones
    5) CBY
    6) Duda or Davis with Satin
    7) TDA
    8) Legares

    The lineup actually would be pretty balanced with some pop and speed. It actually makes sense and would not cost a fortune to maintain.

  4. Rob November 26, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    I would recommend the signing of Kitch N. Synch and, my two favorites, Ev R. Budi and Hs Mu Ther (from the Korean leagues). They’ll probably be the most viable options for this miserable team in 2014. I mean, it’s not like we’re in a large market where we can afford to sign the well known players who can actually contribute right away and…oh…wait…we are. [slaps forehead…exits stage left].
    • argonbunnies November 26, 2013 at 10:48 pm
      Hey, good call. We already tried Throwshit Attawall and that guy didn’t produce; time to shake it up!
    • argonbunnies November 26, 2013 at 10:52 pm
      Hey, good call. We already tried Throwstuff Attawall and that guy didn’t produce; time to shake it up!
  5. izzy November 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm
    If you noticed when Jones played the outfield he played right field. Why? Because right field in Pittsburgh is very tiny. He wasn’t put in left. Why? Because its big like the city morgue. Jones in the outfield is a hair better than duda, if you are likely. Secondly, you already have mediocre first basemen, and they are all a lot younger than Jones and might actually improve, especially one who hit 30 dingers just a year ago, while Jones is in his 30s and has no upside. If mediocrity is what you want, by all means charge after another one. Afterall, the goal stopped being producing a winning exciting club several years ago. And helloboy is totally wronfg about Jones’ contract. He is an arb eligible player, and based on his numbers and years, would make about double what Davis will get in arb. So, go for it get another Chris Young.
    • Joe Janish November 27, 2013 at 12:15 am
      I don’t see how younger = upside. Josh Satin, Lucas Duda, Ike Davis, et al, are what they are. If they were in their early 20s rather than mid- to late-20s I might agree with you. But it’s pretty clear they’re AAAA players who have hit their ceiling. Jones, on the other hand, may be mediocre but he’s more or less a known entity — you know what he’s going to produce.

      Agreed the Mets are not focused on winning or making the postseason. At the same time, Jones in the right platoon situation (with Chris Young?) provides a better chance of winning more games than having a complete wild card such as Ike Davis — who may be cheaper but may also hit .190 again.

      In the end, what’s the difference? Jones may help the Mets win 73 games instead of 70. But I have to come up with blog post topics regardless.

  6. Walnutz15 November 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    I’m sure the Mets were “happy” to see this (sentence dripping w/sarcasm)…..considering anyone remotely interested in trading something for Ike Davis, could now conceivably get the very same kind of production – in the form of Garrett Jones, for probably next to nothing.

    Looking at it, realistically:

    – Met fans would rush to the forefront to remind you that Ike’s got the obvious edge on him – defensively at 1B….and is younger.

    – But at the same time, Jones has at least put together a somewhat “projectable” body of work throughout a handful of years in The Bigs; and could be at least be considered “versatile” – if only by definition.

    (Unless someone’s thinking that Ike would be a similar defensive OF, based off of him “playing it in college”…..yet never at the Major League ranks. I couldn’t see that, to be honest……not coupled with attempting to get him back on track, offensively.)

    If someone asked me to speak real about it, then I’d say that at least 1 club that might have had interest in trading for Ike Davis…..might be crossed off the board, due to working something out with the Pirates for a less meaningful exchange.

    ……..or for $$$, alone – if they’re not able to swing a deal within the 10 days.

    The more I see things playing out this winter, the more I have this feeling that the Mets will wind up trading for Andre Ethier……who, for the record, I’d be more “on-board” with, than dealing anything of significance to take on Matt Kemp’s contract (post-injury).

    Taking C. Young’s splits into account, you could always slot him into Ethier’s spot in RF – against the tough Left-Hander. But in actuality, you’d likely find yourself with a C. Young/Lagares/Ethier outfield – from LF-RF, more often than not…….attempting to figure out what to do with the likes of den Dekker, Puello, et al.

    Just think this might be the most “feasible” way to add some more thump into the OF equation……even if it’s not the most preferred by pockets of the fanbase.

    (This is, of course, presuming that the Dodgers do make him into a “4-Years, $40MM”-type trade return.)

    I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with that, considering it doesn’t look all that likely – where we’re going to have a Big Bang “Grand Slam”-type blockbuster….right now, anyway.

    From fangraphs:

    “1. Trade Andre Ethier.

    The most likely, and also the most discussed; Ethier reportedly came very close to being sent to Seattle last winter. The longtime Dodger had a very weird 2013, putting up only a .317 wOBA in the first half around getting benched by Don Mattingly, then busting out in the second half with a very good .381 mark while playing a surprisingly not-terrible center field. (And then, of course, missing most of September and October with the ankle injury.)

    Ethier is an extremely flawed player, but a useful one if deployed correctly. First off, he absolutely, positively cannot hit lefty pitching; in more than 1200 career plate appearances, his line is .235/.294/.351. He makes up for that with a very good career line against righties, hitting .309/.388/.518. While the Dodgers have never been able to find him an appropriate platoon partner, the right team could easily accentuate his value — and while his 2011 Gold Glove was a joke, he has worked hard to improve his defense from “awful” to “acceptably decent”.

    For many teams, the idea of paying Ethier approximately $17.5m per year for each of the next four seasons is a turnoff, though as a reliable two-to-three win player, the Dodgers shouldn’t have to eat an obnoxious amount of cash to make this reasonable. If they turned Ethier into, say, a 4/40 player, that’s valuable. That’s a range in which the Dodgers could get something good — not great, mind you, but usable — back. And that’s what makes him the most likely to go.”

    • argonbunnies November 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm
      Ugh. Good point about Jones denting Ike’s market.

      I’d love Ethier if he could be had at a price that befits the platoon player he is…

  7. argonbunnies November 26, 2013 at 10:53 pm
    Jones is very streaky. If our roster and his status will allow us to put him on the AAA shuttle, I’d gladly have him around for part of the year (i.e. after he heats up, and until he cools off).
    • Joe Janish November 27, 2013 at 12:16 am
      Very streaky, unlike Ike Davis?


  8. micalpalin November 27, 2013 at 1:34 am
    So I looked at the roster, then looked at the available free agents. Now I am asking ‘Why do we still have David Wright”
    -This is not an age of loyalty, and DW has previously been called a ‘nice’ player by his owners. Given his salary and trade value, the obvious despair of the Mets ..why wait?
    Baltimore has a crop of kids to trade and are on the cusp of a dynasty, dangle Dave Wright that would probably hand the farm over.
  9. micalpalin November 27, 2013 at 1:34 am
    So I looked at the roster, then looked at the available free agents. Now I am asking ‘Why do we still have David Wright”
    -This is not an age of loyalty, and DW has previously been called a ‘nice’ player by his owners. Given his salary and trade value, the obvious despair of the Mets ..why wait?
    Baltimore has a crop of kids to trade and are on the cusp of a dynasty, dangle Dave Wright they would probably hand the farm over.