Welcome to the Winter Meetings

By Rich Sparago

This is one of the most exciting off-season weeks for baseball fans. Baseball executives, players, and agents will gather in Nashville for the Winter Meetings. We’ll be speculating and evaluating all week. Reporters on site will tweet about executives from teams secretly meeting in coffee shops. One gets the image of Sandy Alderson sitting in an oversized chair in the lobby of the hotel, with sunglasses on and a newspaper covering his head. This is certainly a fun week (I’m looking forward to four consecutive days of Hot Stove on SNY). Despite the fun for us as fans, the objective is for teams to try to improve via player acquisitions. Our Mets certainly need to do so. Let’s take a look at one rumor that is quite prevalent right now.

The Mets have been tied to the Toronto Blue Jays in trade speculation. This makes sense, since the Blue Jays seem to have emphatically stated that they want to be in the mix in the AL East, by acquiring most of the Miami Marlins roster. The Blue Jays now have a surplus of talent at some positions (notably catcher), and have a few needs to fill if they truly are to be contenders (such as starting pitching).  The Mets have a couple of starting pitchers whom they’d consider trading (Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey), and several holes to fill, hence the tying of the two franchises in trade rumors. Once such rumor has the Mets interested in outfielder Anthony Gose and catcher J.P. Arencibia, possibly for Niese.

September 23, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Gose (43) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

In looking at those two players from Toronto, you quickly see an ideal fit for the Mets. Last year, Arencibia hit .233, with 18 HR and 56 RBI in 102 games. In 2011, he belted 23 HRs, while hitting .219. While he does not hit for much of an average (he also hardly walks at all), he can provide power from the catching position, something the Mets have been sorely lacking. Arencibia is a RH bat, and would fit nicely into the 6th or 7th slots in the order. In my opinion, the more intriguing player is Gose. Gose seems to have outstanding speed, having stolen 70 bases in the minors in 2011 (with only 15 CS).  He also stole a combined 49 bases (minors and with Toronto) in 2012, with only 15 CS. Gose is prone to the strikeout, but at 22, has time to work on his OBP. Gose is a LH bat, and can play all three OF positions. Sandy Alderson has talked about the team’s lack of power and speed. These two players could help address both needs for the Mets.

Is Niese the right player to offer to Toronto for these two guys? Is Toronto even willing to trade them? At this point, it’s all speculation. But it’s fun, and it keeps us talking about baseball. Welcome to the Winter Meetings.