While the Mets are busy shopping R.A. Dickey around in an effort to bring in some legitimate offense for the everyday lineup, there have been plenty potential trade scenarios that have been played out, so why not another one? The next guy up is the young outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, Anthony Gose. His name has shown up on my radar a few times this weekend; I saw Ken Rosenthal include him in a potential trade proposal for Dickey, which also included J.P. Arencibia, and I was asked on twitter whether or not including him in a deal has been talked about between the Jays and Mets.
It was made clear throughout the Winter Meetings last week that Sandy Alderson wouldn’t trade away the 2012 NL Cy Young winner unless a team included a “difference maker.” Toronto and New York match up on multiple levels for a deal; the Jays want to solidify their starting rotation and have a surplus of catchers and outfielders. Meanwhile, the Mets desperately need a catcher and at least one outfielder in a trade, but have depth in their starting pitching. Sandy would no doubt like a slugging outfielder like Jose Bautista for Terry Collins to put in his lineup everyday, but Anthony Gose would provide the Mets with something else they don’t have a lot of: team speed.
The 22-year-old center fielder was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 2oo8 amateur player draft. Gose spent approximately two and a half seasons in their minor league system before he was shipped to Houston with J.A. Happ and Jonathon Villar in a trade that netted the Phillies starter Roy Oswalt. The Astros then flipped him to Toronto for Brett Wallace, which doesn’t seem to have panned out the way Houston management would have liked.
In his five seasons of Minor League time, Gose has proven is that he’s a fast man and can steal bases. He’s stolen 30+ bases four straight years (including two seasons of 70+ SBs), but has also hit 20+ doubles and 7+ triples four consecutive seasons as well. He’s a .264 career hitter in the Minors, but took a step forward in his development during 2012, hitting .286/.366/.419 in 102 games played for Triple-A Las Vegas, all career bests. He’s also shown good defensive skills, sporting a .981 career fielding percentage, including 52 assists in five years.
Gose was ranked the #39 best prospect by Baseball America before 2012, and made his debut this past July, hitting .223/.303/.319 with 1 homer, 11 RBI, and 15 SB in limited time (166 ABs). Like their surplus of catchers, the Blue Jays have too many outfielders on their roster, and with Edwin Encarnacion entrenched as the designated hitter following a 42-homer, 110-RBI campaign, something will have to give. Bautista and the newly-signed Melky Cabrera aren’t going anywhere, which leaves the likes of Colby Rasmus, Rajai Davis, and Gose in limbo, fighting for spots on the roster.
Although Sandy Alderson is in pursuit of home runs this winter, speed wouldn’t be so bad either. At the age of 22, he still has plenty of room to grow offensively, but is starting to put it all together in the minors, as it seems he’s ready for his shot in the Big Leagues. He’s just as good of a defender as anyone else New York has on the current roster, and gives Terry Collins a legit lead-off hitter at the top of the lineup. It would give him flexibility with the rest of the order, as he could shift Ruben Tejada to the second spot, while moving Daniel Murphy into the middle, giving him more RBI chances. Having so little MLB service time, Gose is cheap; he’s not arbitration eligible until 2016, and isn’t scheduled to become a free agent until 2019.
It’s clear the Jays have a “win right now” mentality after their blockbuster trade with the Marlins, and now that James Shields is headed to the Royals, the Mets have two of the most affordable and effective starting pitchers on the market in R.A. Dickey and Jonathon Niese. Plus, since Wil Myers was included in that deal for Shields, Sandy’s primary focus will now shift to north of the border. If I’m the Mets GM, I’d propose Dickey for Arencibia and Gose, then use the extra payroll flexibility to pursue a right-handed hitting outfielder like Cody Ross. If Alex Anthopoulos blinks at that, I would offer up Niese. When rumors have it talks between the two have gotten to the point of Niese and Travis d’Arnaud, this is likely in the ballpark.
Would you be in favor of a deal that would net the Mets Arencibia and Gose, or would you prefer a bat with more power in the outfield via trade? For the Jays fans, would you rather have Dickey or Niese in a trade like this?