Be sure to check out Part 1 of this three part series.
Let’s start with the players who the Mets are not getting. While these names may appear in rumors, it’s highly unlikely that any of these guys will be donning blue and orange anytime soon. In some cases, it’s due to a lack of mutual interest, and in other cases, it’s due to a lack of resources. Whichever way you slice it, don’t expect these guys in New York. These are ordered from most impossible to least:
Aramis Ramirez, sort of
He’s been in the league nearly as long as I’ve been alive, and he’s just not good enough anymore. He may he a slight upgrade over Ruben Tejada, but the difference is not large enough to waste any time or money attempting to pursue him. However, it’s very possible that he could to come as a throw in from Milwaukee in a trade package, which is fine if the Brewers eat some of his remaining salary, but I doubt that happens anyway. He definitely shouldn’t be the centerpiece of any trade involving the Brewers.
A Toronto Slugger
It’s possible that the Blue Jays will be willing to trade away either Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion, but don’t take that as a sign that they’ll be coming to the Mets. The Jays have a scary offense, but they could use pitching help. Of course, it didn’t help that two and a half years ago, they traded away a right handed pitcher with curly blonde hair for a man currently sporting a 4.87 ERA for them. But I digress.
Both Bautista and Encarnacion can be free agents after 2016, and neither makes sense for the Mets. Bautista, while he’s still a great hitter, is just old. At 34-years-old, and only a year and a half left on his contract, he’s not worth the short term gamble. As for Encarnacion, he’ll be coming to New York to either platoon with Lucas Duda at first base, or Terry Collins will have to shove one of them to left field on a regular basis, which will be a calamity that no fan should ever have to suffer. And you think Cuddyer has no range out there…
I also could have avoided that last paragraph by saying that neither Bautista nor Encarnacion will be traded anywhere. There are ways for Toronto to improve their rotation without dealing one of their two mashers, which I will get to later.
Now that’s what I call a tease.
End the charade, this trade is never going to happen. Between concerns about Tulo’s durability, the fact that he’s 30 years old (remember, he was the next big thing back when the Rockies made the World Series…eight years ago), and the fact that he’s spent his entire career at Coors Field, the Mets simply can’t afford to give up Noah Syndergaard for Tulowitzki. Unfortunately, if the Mets were to offer anything less, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich hangs up the phone.
First of all, I don’t think the Dodgers will be trading Ethier, but even if they were, the Mets won’t be able to get him for financial reasons. Assuming that his main role on the Mets (aside from occasionally starting against right handed pitching in center) will be playing left field over Michael Cuddyer, it’ll mean that the Wilpons will be paying $30.5 million to left fielders next year between the two. It’s possible that the Dodgers will think about covering some of his remaining contract, but it would be better for them to swallow Ethier’s $18 million than pay him $9 million or so and lose his production entirely.
Plain and simple, he’s much more valuable to the Red Sox than he would be in a trade. Despite Boston’s desperate need for reliable Major League pitching, their only All-Star is probably the least likely candidate to be traded this season. He’s able to be plugged in at pretty much any position, spending a lot of time this year at second base while Dustin Pedroia was injured, but will find himself starting over Shane Victorino in the outfield or Mike Napoli at first now that Pedroia is back. On top of his well-known versatility, he’s also hitting very well. He’s not worth Syndergaard, but at this point in time, a trade involving Montero or Fulmer/Ynoa won’t be too enticing for the Red Sox either.
By all accounts, Puig is a very hard man to deal with. Fortunately for him, his bank account, and his future in baseball, he’s an incredibly talented player. There are a lot of reasons to dislike him personally, but the Dodgers sure appreciate the production he provides them when he’s on. Would I trade Syndergaard straight up for Puig? In a heartbeat. I’m sure the Dodgers would heavily consider that, but they wouldn’t want to make that deal right now.
Insert Chicago Cub Infielder Here
There is no dream win-win deal to be had here. The sides just don’t match up right now as well as they did this time a year ago. It’s possible that the clubs can strike a deal in the offseason, but there isn’t a mutually beneficial trade that will help both teams in their Wild Card chase.
Starlin Castro is currently in the midst of his second disastrous year out of the last three, and even when he’s going well, he’s quite overrated. A lot of his value has always been rooted in the fact that the shortstop position is generally weak, and he’s one of the few players who is able to provide above average offensive production at the position. While this is somewhat true (again, even with his good 2014 season taken into account, he’s overall been below average for two and a half years) I take that to mean that it’s not worth selling off too many assets to get an above average but not great hitter simply because he’s a relative star at his position, and would rather live with below average production at short because most of the league is in the same boat. It also hurts Castro that he’s a bad defender at the most important defensive position outside of the battery. Epstein will value Castro more than he should, and he’s simply not worth the asking price.
Addison Russell isn’t good enough at this moment for the Mets to worry about trading for him. Sure, he’ll be very good in a year or two, and a trade involving him and Wheeler could very much be on the table, but he’s not what the Mets need in July 2015.
Javier Baez had a disappointing trail run with the big club last year, where the aggressiveness which suited him so well in the minors quickly became a problem against higher quality pitching. Currently, he’s sidelined with an injury, but was tearing up AAA again, and was able to reduce his strikeout rate in the 37 games he’s played so far. He’s not necessarily a sure thing, which is why he’s not coming to the Mets this month. The team is looking for polished offensive players who can provide a boost to the lineup as the postseason draws clear. Baez and polished don’t belong in the same sentence yet.
Speaking of unpolished, Arismendy Alcantara would be a bad trade target at this stage. Much like Baez, a deal involving him may make sense in a year or two, but right now, Alcantara is not an offensive upgrade anywhere except maybe shortstop. Maybe.
If I burst your bubble with any of those, I’m sorry.
Next up, all of the potential trades that they can actually make. That’ll be coming in part three.