Despite Wilmer Flores’s heroics in Game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Phillies, things are not going to get better here at Citi Field.
So, it’s safe to say the Mets will be sellers in the ensuing weeks up to the deadline. And you have to think the Mets have some interesting pieces like Asdrubal Cabrera, Jeurys Familia and Jose Bautista, who should get them more than just a bucket of balls back in a trade.
However, the general thought by many in the media and even some scouts is that the Mets should just start over and actively shop Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, both of whom would get the club more than that proverbial bucket of balls and bag of bats.
Honestly if the Mets triumvirate front office went that direction, it would be a mistake and a gamble.
Now before you send the hate mail and the letters, hear me out. Both deGrom and Syndergaard are part of the Mets solution and not the problem. DeGrom comes to the park and pitches lights out every five days and Syndergaard, when he is healthy, is one of the most unique pitchers in the game.
Now you need to listen – always listen – but be very wary of the Philistines bearing gifts.
Even assistant GM John Ricco said this last week.
“We are not out there actively looking to move Jacob and Noah by any stretch,” Ricco said. “I think honestly it would take a team to come in and present an overwhelming deal for us to move one of those guys. He is that kind of player and they mean that much to the organization.”
Everyone points back to the Yankees in 2016, when they moved Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller at the deadline for packages that included Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, among others. The Yankees look golden right now with a young team that is poised to go deep into the postseason with Torres going to his first All-Star game, as well.
But remember that was 2016 and there were two very desperate teams out there. The Cubs, who took Chapman off their hands, would have done anything to break their 108-year jinx and the Indians, who last won in 1948 and didn’t even smell the postseason for a while, was looking to make some noise as well.
Those teams’ desperations became Brian Cashman and the Yankees gain. They were able to dictate who they wanted and got them. Good for them. Right now, though, there may not be a team desperate enough to empty the farm for either deGrom or Syndergaard.
Look at it this way, if the Mets do decide to trade either, they are not going to send them to the Yankees or any NL East rival, like the Braves, Nationals, and Phillies. They will not want to risk facing them a few times a year or watching them win games a borough away.
Rather, the Mets will look send them as far away as possible and preferably to the American League to limit any future damage. That means teams like the Angels, Mariners, Diamondbacks, or A’s would be ideal. So, ask yourself if any team would be willing to overpay for the Mets two aces?
And then if you do decide to trade either pitcher, you are essentially sending a top of the line pitcher for prospects, who are always question marks. If you don’t agree with me, then think about this: Both Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith were top of the line prospects last season and struggled so far on the big-league level. Although Rosario should become a good big-league player, Smith is being lapped right now by Peter Alonso on the organizational depth chart.
The Mets are going to move some of their tradable pieces in the next few weeks and the lineup after August 1st may look more like the one Mickey Callaway trotted out in Game 2 tonight. There will be a lot of young players and not that much sexiness, name-wise. At least deGrom and Syndergaard will give the fans some reason to come to the ballpark, at least until the Mets call up Tim Tebow.
DeGrom is under Met control for another two years and Syndergaard has three more seasons before he tests the free agent waters. You know what you will get with the two players and there’s no reason for the club to risk it. For every Gleyber Torres that gets moved at the deadline, 10 Alex Ochoas change hands.
It’s too much of a risk right now. The Mets should hold onto their two aces.