The speculation is growing that Mets GM Sandy Alderson will be selling, heading into the non-waiver trade deadline of July 31st. Asdrubal Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Lucas Duda, Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins are among the veteran players that could help other teams in their hunt to the postseason.
And before the All-Star break it is becoming clearer that the Mets have to sell and rebuild. Despite a three-game sweep of the lowly Giants and their six upcoming games with the Marlins and Phillies, it will take 90 or more wins for the Mets to at least be one of those two wild card teams out of the National League.
Arizona, Milwaukee, Colorado. Keep an eye on those three teams in the hunt and in all probability, at this stage, two of the wildcards could come out of the west or central divisions. Reality is, the Mets are 11.0 games out of a wildcard and the odds are against them.
So, they will be sellers. And the right move is to get younger and more athletic with a similar model used by the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman last year at the deadline. That formula got the Yankees younger and with top prospects in the game.
Does this also mean that Mets’ prospects Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are bound for Citi Field anytime soon? That is inevitable and the Mets will get younger at key positions. However, a reputed and veteran scout recently provided reports on the Mets minor league affiliate teams, more so with an emphasis of evaluating the Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s where Rosario and Smith continue to groom for their big league debuts.
It’s not good overall. For Smith, there is need for improvement. Rosario, what Mets fans want, has that immediate shot of getting the call. The 51’s overall, last place in the Southern Division with the worst record in the 16-team PCL. They rank 14th in pitching and 10th in batting.
So the Mets need to restructure, and there is no immediate help on the horizon. Alderson will sell and speculation for sure that the Mets will seek that immediate need to get younger and rebuilding starts at the minor league system. It’s been done in the past and has shown to be successful.
And as much as this columnist knocks Alderson for some moves, he does get credit for evaluating talent and has that success of rebuilding and restructuring. Here is a brief capsule of that evaluation out in Las Vegas. And it does leave room for need to get Mets better.
Rosario: 21-years old, Athletic, young shortstop and a defender who has speed on the bases. A quality offensive player and will spark at leadoff. Has a good eye for the game, plays hard, team comes first and good instincts. The conclusion an all-star to come and shortstop the Mets have for 10-years.
Smith: 22-years old at first base. Here are the key elements as described, “With an old man’s body.” Meaning, Smith is heavy and out of shape. He can hit, has great hands, a stroke for the gap, and reminiscent of Adrian Gonzalez at the plate. His power is growing and on the field has good hands but a lack of range. In other words, he could be much better and has that chance with age on his side. A viable replacement for Duda as the Mets seek to rebuild, but there is that reputation of laziness for whatever that means.
Logan Taylor: 25-years old. Right-handed pitcher. Former starting pitcher with a solid curve ball and needs improvement with fastball command. He could provide the Mets with some solid middle relief, Fastball averages 90-95-92.
Hansel Robles and Matt Reynolds are in the report. Robles continues to go downhill and a thrower, not the pitcher he was last year and the year before. He struggles with release point and continues to show what was going on earlier this season before getting reassigned to Las Vegas. As for Reynolds, a super utility player with occasional power.
Alberto Baldonato: 24-year old left-hander with a power arm and has issues with command. Too many pitches are thrown out and over the plate, though, tough on left handed hitters. In other words a bullpen specialist similar to Blevins.
Victor Cruzado: 24 year old centerfielder. Plays hard and a solid defender. Patient hitter at the plate and knows the role of a leadoff hitter with good skills on the bases.
Perhaps, this can be a part of the rebuilding. However that need of selling to get younger and more athletic would be expected as that trade deadline approaches.