With all the swirling rumors of a “fire sale” approaching, some of the more recognizable Mets names might be playing elsewhere by mid-season. Even though the franchise will surely be re-stocked with exciting, young talent, fans who decide to purchase David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and other popular jerseys might find themselves wearing passe merchandise. To avoid getting burned, Rising Apple has carefully analyzed the five New York Mets jerseys that will most likely be safe buys in the event of a busy trading deadline.
Ike Davis: Davis has been the New York Mets best hitter in 2011. The left-handed hitter has posted a .310/.389/.558 line with 6 home-runs, 22 RBI, and 17 runs-scored. In his second full-season, the 24 year-old is years away from free-agency, and is proving to be a cornerstone of the franchise. With his current production and bright [and inexpensive] future, Ike’s jersey is about as safe an investment as it gets.
Josh Thole: After a promising 2010 where he posted a .277/.357/.366 line with 3 home-runs, 17 RBI, 17 runs-scored, and 1 stolen-base in 227 plate appearances, Thole hasn’t quite looked like the same player. The young catcher has only posted a .253/.308/.289 line with 0 home-runs, 8 RBI, and 4 runs-scored in 83 plate appearances. Despite the disappointing start to 2011, the 24 year-old backstop isn’t going anywhere. The Mets are very high on Thole, and frankly, catchers with on-base skills don’t exactly grow on trees. Buy his jersey accordingly.
Jason Bay: Bay’s name might be big, but so is his contract. The “slugger” will make $51 million over the next four seasons (including the $3 million buyout in 2014). Unlike Beltran, who is in the last year of his fat contract, Bay still has too much baggage, and didn’t exactly have a top-shelf season in 2010. After averaging a .279/.378/.515 line with 31 home-runs, 103 RBI, 101 R, and 12 stole-bases per season from 2005 to 2009, Bay only posted a measly .256/.347/.402 line with 6 home-runs, 47 RBI, 48 runs-scored, and 10 stolen-bases. You can safely buy his jersey, but barring a renaissance season, you might regret the purchase.
Jon Niese: After impressing with a 3.61 ERA, 1.36, and 2.61 K/BB in the first half of 2010, fans and Mets brass expected Jon Niese to step-up in 2011. However, the left-handed pitcher has been pretty pedestrian, posting 1 win, 4.71 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 1.71 K/BB. Like fellow farmhands Ike Davis and Josh Thole, Niese too is just 24 years-old, and has his whole [hopefully successful] career ahead of him. Trading a young southpaw before his peak would be Mets-like, but Sandy Alderson is a different bread of management (a smart one).
Johan Santana: Remember Johan Santana? The only player more untradeable than Jason Bay has to be Johan Santana. The current injured pitcher is not only out for at least half this season, but is also set to make $77.5 million (including $5.5 buyout) over the next four seasons regardless of whether he ever throws another pitch. Johan is projected to be back sometime in the second half this season, but rotator cuff surgery isn’t as “bounce-back” as Tommy John. Given his uncertain status, you’ll probably be able to secure a Santana jersey in the discount aisle at TJ Maxx.