Game Recaps (Sort Of) and a Gee-nious Move

In Joe’s absence, I will attempt to keep the lights lit around here.

The Mets took three of four from the Braves this week. Dillon Gee pitched well and Travis d’Araund extended his coming out (no not that type of coming out) party. On the down side, Juan Larges’ offensive struggles continue and most disturbingly, Jeurys Familia couldn’t get loose while warming up and wasn’t used in either game.

The Mets wrap up the first half of the season against the fading Marlins, starting tonight. They travel to San Diego after the All-Star break. After a three-game stop in Seattle, they face the Brewers in Milwaukee and the Phillies at home to wrap up July. This is the stretch that will determine the course of the 2014 season—as with the exception of the Mariners, the Mets have been playing better recently than the next few teams on their schedule. This is their opportunity to win each series and at least pull within hailing distance of the .500 mark. Respectability is the first step back, right?

While it seems that WFAN has become all-Yankees, all-of-the time, I had the somewhat good fortune to be tuned in when Mike Francessa broached the subject of trading Gee. Francessa favors moving Gee over one of the Mets younger arms, a notion that I tend to agree with him on. Like most fans, I would rather trade Bartolo Colon and hold on to Gee, but I sense that Gee’s value is very high right now and I would attempt to move him this month.

Humor me for a moment and project a Met starting rotation, circa 2015-2017…

You probably have some combination of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Jon Niese, yes? That leaves Gee, Jacob deGrom and the intriguing Steven Matz as the main competition for the 5th spot, along with the still-time-to-develop Rafael Montero. Who would you take from those four? (My pick is deGrom). Colon has value in that, if needed, he could do next year what he has done this year: hold down a spot if one or more of the young arms proves to be unready at the start of 2015. Yes, so could Gee, but trading Colon (plus his salary) would only get them the type of return that Ike Davis did. It wouldn’t help them this year and doesn’t really make them better during this supposed window of opportunity either.

For the first time in decades, the Mets farm system is moving in the right direction; however the top position players in the system are currently blocked by players who could (or should) remain Mets for a while. Moving Gee, who is under control until 2017, along with Carlos Torres and maybe Bobby Abreu to a team like Seattle, Kansas City, Cleveland or St. Louis, teams much closer to a playoff spot than the Mets are, should be able to garner a package that includes either the power or the speed prospect that their offense needs and the farm system currently lacks.

What do you think? Help keep the site active—sound off below!

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. CleonJames July 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    Yes, I would trade Gee. That is the kind of slightly painful move that the team must make to fill its glaring holes up the middle on the way to becoming a contender.
  2. norme July 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    Hey Dan,
    Thanks for stepping in for Joe.
    I agree with Cleon about the pain involved in trading one of your assets, be it Gee, Wheeler, deGrom or whomever.
    I like the toughness and professionalism of Gee. Would I trade him? Sure. I’d trade anybody to make this team better.
    We could argue about which player(s) to keep or trade, but in the long run the Mets have some big holes to fill. Waiting for Herrera, Dom Smith and Conforto to become successful big leaguers is a crap shoot.
    I also recognize the argument that you never have enough big league arms. However, with talent needed now as opposed to 20016-7, management should not be gun shy.
    You have to give up quality to get quality.
  3. Bat July 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm
    Cappy, another guy you didn’t mention who might be a good trade candidate is Dice-K.

    I think there is a fair chance that Colon breaks down next year…he’s 41 years old! So they might want to sell high on him now if they get a good offer for the tub of goo.

  4. DanB July 11, 2014 at 7:52 pm
    Interesting proposals. However, what if getting better wasn’t the Mets top priority? What if “payroll flexibility” was? If the Mets are still worried about payroll, I’d think they will be looking to trade Colon over Gee this year. I can also see them trading Murphy this off season and Gee next year. To my eyes, I see a team more worried about payroll then a team worried about getting better. When was the last time the Mets increased spending to improve the team? What has happened to think this year (or next year) will be any different?
  5. DaveSchneck July 11, 2014 at 10:41 pm
    Dan,
    Nice write up standing in for the ‘star”. I agree with most comments above. In general, I’d trade anyone if the return made the team better. So, the part the we don’t know is what the market will pay for each Met trade chip. Short of that info, I’d move Colon as top priority. Why – as DanB said, cost flexibility in 2015. Gee will cost about $6 mil vs Colon’s $11 mil. Colon will also be 42 and will fade sooner or later. Lastly on Gee, his pitching style will compliment the other fireballers on the staff. Also, Torres has been outstanding, provides tremendous flexibility, and carries minimal cost. I would look to move Colon and Abreu, accumulate another couple of prospects to support a multiplayer deal this winter, and have some extra dough to sign a legit FA.
  6. The King July 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm
    Huge need for another overweight pitcher in the Bronx for the next year and a half. Soak ’em, Sandy.
  7. Matt P July 12, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    Good analysis, Dan. I agree that, in theory at least, the rotation is going to be crowded with solid young starters not very far down the line, which makes Gee’s upside your number five starter.

    But the most compelling reason to trade him right now is that his trade value based on performance has never been and probably never will be higher. In the first half Gee has put up career lows in ERA and WHIP– but this is largely because he’s been lucky. He’s not striking anyone out: his K/9 is the lowest of his career. Meanwhile, his BABIP against is at a career low and his strand rate is at a career high.

    All of this suggests that he’s in for a rough second half. But if there’s an MLB team out here that thinks that 2014 Dillon Gee’s surface stats are for real, I would make the deal in a heartbeat, particularly if there’s an opportunity to get a meaningful position player prospect or two in return. And none of this is a knock on Gee– by all reports he’s a great guy, a hard worker, and a great teammate. But there could be a real opportunity to make the team better in the long run here, and Gee more likely than not won’t really fit in the rotation long term anyway.

  8. David July 13, 2014 at 7:27 am
    I am posting this after today’s 5-4 win over Miami to recognise how much better this team looks the last few weeks.

    Duda is acting like a clean up hitter, and TDA is finally hitting. Murphy has made some great plays in the field and timely pinch hits rounded out today’s thrilling comeback win.

    Some may scoff at the notion but I give a lot of credit to Grandy and his towel wave. They look much more like a team and are certainly playing like one at the moment. Murphy catching that pop off that Tejada lost in the wind spoke volumes.

    Finally, some credit has to go to Mejia who is exciting and super talented. I think we may see lots of saves from him in orange and blue before he is done.

    Let’s all hope for the sweep which puts them in 3rd place at the break.

    • CleonJames July 14, 2014 at 3:55 pm
      Spoken like a true Mets optimist. Agree about towel wave. Team spirit did not hurt in 69 or 86. This is the dawning of the Age of Metsquarius. (next year)
  9. argonbunnies July 15, 2014 at 12:49 am
    I’d rather trade Niese and keep Gee. Gee’s injuries have been more flukey, while Niese’s recent arm problems have me worried. I also suspect that Niese’s resume will look more impressive to other teams and net a better return.

    We could always deal BOTH guys, but if so, we’d better be getting some major help back, like a solid-to-elite SS.

    Among Niese, Gee, Wheeler, Colon and Syndergaard, it wouldn’t shock me if Zack and Noah are the two least effective starters in 2015. So the trade strategy depends on what year you’re prioritizing.

  10. DanB July 15, 2014 at 11:09 am
    Looks like the Mets can’t trade one solid pitcher for one solid shortstop. To me, this confirms the Alderson misplayed his rebuilding. If he had focused on position players rather then pitchers, the Mets would be more improved and in a better position to trade prospects. And the Mets would still have Harvey, Neese, Gee, Colon, Mejia, etc… Young quality pitching has flooded the market. As good as the Mets pitching staff has gotten, it still ranks in the 9 to 11 area. It needs to be in the top three to overcome their lineup.
    • DaveSchneck July 15, 2014 at 3:10 pm
      Dan,
      That is an interesting point of view, but I’m not sure I agree with it. I don’t necessarily disagree either. It will be interesting to see how the Cubs fare vs. how the Mets fare, as Epstein seems to have taken your approach. Gun to my head I’ll take the stockpiling of pitchers. The hitters may be more scarce, but those pitchers drop like flies and a deep pool of cost controlled replacements is now the new moneyball edge.
  11. Andrew Lloyd July 15, 2014 at 12:26 pm
    Agree with most of the sentiments – I like Gee a lot, but his value may be at its highest, and to get something good you have to give up something good. But I wouldn’t undervalue him – I’d want a legit, real deal SS or corner OF prospect at AA or higher. Basically, one half of the return we got for R.A. Dickey; I think that’s fair.

    What I would NOT do is trade Carlos Torres; the guy is an underrated, key piece of the team. I would not mess with the bullpen core whatsoever.