Low and behold, the Mets did acquire an outfielder shortly after I published my most recent article, but it was for none of the outfielders I discussed. New York is sending minor leaguer Jefry Marte to Oakland in exchange for Collin Cowgill. Not exactly the kind of trade fans were hoping to see, but we may be seeing some more action by Sandy soon.
The 26-year-old outfielder was selected in the 5th round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and most recently
was traded to Oakland as part of the deal that brought Chris Young to the Bay Area. Although he’s posted a .255/.319/.311 line during his limited MLB service (216 PAs), he has an impressive .315/.384/.482 line throughout his Triple-A career. MLBTR reports that with him being a right-handed hitter and having the ability to play all three outfield positions, there is a good chance he could start the year in the Bigs.
Well, back to what Mike Puma of the New York Post tweeted last night, this deal is definitely for an outfielder that hadn’t been linked to the Mets before. It’s not a splash move by any means, but this is another MLB ready player that is young enough to potentially help the team for the next few years, but seasoned enough to contribute right away.
Plus, adding Cowgill at the expense of Marte doesn’t seem to be overly heartbreaking, either. He spent 2012 in Double-A Binghamton, and hit .251/.322/.366 in his first season above A-ball. With prospects like Brandon Nimmo hot on his tail, he became expendable. When New York acquired Brian Bixler earlier in the winter, it looked as though he would be auditioning for the fourth outfielder/utility infielder spot on the roster. At 30-years-old and a .189 career batting average spanning over parts of four seasons in the Majors, there isn’t a lot of upside when compared to Cowgill; he’s still young, versatile, and has shown more flashes of brilliance throughout his development.
An acquisition like this tells me New York may be out of the running when it comes to attempting to re-sign free agent Scott Hairston. If they weren’t planning on giving him a chance to start (and it didn’t seem that way), he’s not worth a multi-year deal for at least $10 million. They have received another outfielder that is younger, cheaper, and has more potential to possibly become a starter, while at the very least may be their fourth outfielder looking ahead to Opening Day in 2013.