More Deals the Mets Didn’t Make

I don’t remember this much activity, this early in the winter. Maybe it’s my old age, or maybe it had something to do with the late arrival of Thanksgiving / early arrival of Chanukah. In any case, there have been so many deals happening these past few days, it’s hard to keep up. Though, there hasn’t been much activity by the New York Mets. Still, we should quickly review what’s been happening outside of Flushing.

Phillies acquire Brad Lincoln from Blue Jays for Erik Kratz and Rob Rasmussen.
Mildly interesting, as Kratz seemed to find a place as the Phillies’ backup catcher, and the Jays just signed Dioner Navarro and cut J.P. Arencibia, leaving Josh Thole as the backup / designated knuckleball catcher for R.A. Dickey. Apparently, though, Toronto is not sold on Thole. Kratz showed some homerun power and good skills behind the dish in his first legit shot at semi-regular time in 2013, but also showed holes in his swing that limited him to a .213 average. His departure means the Phils are in the market for a backup backstop.

Speaking of catchers, the Rays acquired defensive whiz Ryan Hanigan from the Reds, and former Mets reliever Heath Bell from the Diamondbacks, in a three-team deal. The Rays parted with minor league pitcher Justin Choate and a PTBNL, and Arizona also sent LHP David Holmberg to Cincinnati. I don’t see how this deal is relevant to the Mets.

Meanwhile, the Rangers dealt outfielder Craig Gentry and RHP Josh Lindblom to the wheeling-and-dealing Athletics for prospects Michael Choice and Chris Bostick. I know nothing about Choice and Bostick, but Gentry and Lindblom might’ve been useful to the Mets. Not a huge deal, though it would seem to free some roster and budget space for Texas to make another move, while Oakland continues to make improvements to their big-league roster despite small-market constraints.

That’s not all out of Oakland. Billy Beane also swung a deal with the Padres to add Luke Gregerson to the A’s bullpen. Beane traded outfielder Seth Smith, who was very close to being a non-tender candidate. For those who remember, around this time last year, the Padres supposedly were interested in swapping Gregerson to the Mets for Daniel Murphy. Honestly, I don’t know whether that would’ve been a good deal or not, nor do I know if it matters — it’s not as though such a trade would’ve made much difference in the Mets’ 2013 outcome. But it is interesting that Beane was able to acquire Gregerson for a fourth or fifth outfielder.

Finally, there is news that the Tigers have signed closer Joe Nathan to a two-year deal, which means there’s a good chance that Brian Wilson will, in turn, sign with the Dodgers. Not that the Mets were in play for either.

Your response to these moves not made by the Mets? The comments section is open.

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. DaveSchneck December 4, 2013 at 9:27 am
    Mets offseason to do list:
    1. Obtain #4 bat; status – not accomplished
    2. Upgrade SS; status – not accomplished
    3. Fill Harvey spot in rotation; status – not accomplished
    4. Obtain legit leadoff hitter; status – not accomplished
    5. Obtain legit bullpen are that can close if Parnell/Black cannot; status – not accomplished
    6. Obtain veteran C; status – not accomplished
    7. Continue public and private doublespeak to fanbase and paying customers; status – accomplished
  2. Bryan December 4, 2013 at 11:04 am
    I think Murphy for Gregerson would have directly impacted the Mets outcome for the worse last season. Murphy was a spark plug with the bat and who might have replaced that output. I didn’t see anyone rostered having a season like Murphy did.
    • Joe Janish December 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm
      At the same time, Gregerson could have stopped the bleeding in the mid- and later innings of ballgames.

      But it doesn’t matter, because how much worse or better would the Mets have been? They would have finished third or fourth, regardless.

  3. Quinn December 4, 2013 at 1:20 pm
    Is it just me or does it seem there have been an abundance of talent being traded for spare parts? If my observation is correct then i must ask why in the world have the Mets not traded anyone? Standing pat with a 75 win team will net you just that a 75 win team. Is that our new goal? Also when did .500 become such a big deal? Do you get a prize for winning 81 games? If not I dont understand why there is any emphasis on that number.
    We hear rumors of teams being interested in Ike Davis, if thats the case why isn’t he gone, all his suitors are going to sign/trade for someone else leaving us with 4 miL (guess) of strikeouts.
  4. argonbunnies December 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm
    A long list is forming of deals where Alderson could have offered a better player and upgraded the team.

    Truly stupid move in San Diego, trading a top-15 reliever for a borderline top-100 OF. If they’d simply held an open auction for Gregerson, they would have gotten something better within days. I do not understand how this business works. Apparently Billy Beane does, though. If only we had someone like that in the Mets front office. Oh well.

    In other trades, here’s a fun fact: can you name the active players with more career walks than career strikeouts?

    Here they are, in order of ratio:
    1. Albert Pujols
    2. Ryan Hanigan
    3. Joe Mauer
    4. Dustin Pedroia
    5. John Jaso

    • argonbunnies December 4, 2013 at 8:37 pm
      With a career .360 OBP and 40% CS rate, I’m surprised Hanigan hasn’t gotten more love.