Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson appeared on WFAN Thursday afternoon with Mike Francesa. They discussed a broad range of topics. Rising Apple writer Danny Abriano takes you through the entirety of the interview. I’m here solely to discuss the 2013 outfield situation and to see what kind of trade package the Mets can conjure.
Of course, I’m loosely paraphrasing here. In the GM’s words, he said the Mets outfield is not a strength, and is in need of an upgrade. I think we are all in agreement with that assessment.
Feb 16, 2011; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson observes spring training at Digital Domain Park. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-USA TODAY Sports
When asked about left field, Sandy Alderson immediately offered Lucas Duda. When asked about center field, Alderson offered a combination of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Collin Cowgill, who Alderson described as hard nosed. When quizzed about right field, there was no clear response. He expressed there are no headliners out there. More than that, he had no real answer he was willing to divulge.
In the case of free agent Scott Hairston, Alderson explained Hairston wants more playing time than perhaps the Mets are willing to commit to. Then there is the separate issue of money and years. However, and not until Francesa beat it out of him, Sandy Alderson admitted his overriding motivation right now is to wait out the market. The Mets General Manager revealed he is in the process of speaking with a few clubs regarding a top quality outfielder. But he only committed to a 50/50 chance that a big deal would get done.
Okay Mets fans, let the rampant speculation begin. Who can this potential outfielder possibly be? I haven’t a clue. That’s why I’m taking the easy way out, and instead will try to decipher who would potentially be traded away.
In order to secure an outfielder, does the second party want an outfielder in return? On the major league level, the Mets obviously can offer Lucas Duda or Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Lurking in the minor leagues, the Mets can offer some of their more popularly known free range outfield prospects like Brandon Nimmo, Matt den Dekker, Cory Vaughn, and Darrell Ceciliani. Two more somewhat lesser known, but no less intriguing outfield prospects are Cesar Puello and Aderlin Rodriguez.
What other current Mets who have credible trade value might the club be willing to trade? Most start with Jon Niese because he is indeed a quality left-handed pitcher, and he comes with a club friendly contract. An American League club might also find Daniel Murphy very attractive. Maybe Dillon Gee gets included in this group? Jenrry Mejia and, or Jeurys Familia could conceivably be included in the right deal. Obviously, Johan Santana is no longer the hook he was. But could a club possibly find Johan Santana and his expiring contract desirable for one season? If he is included as part of a greater package and the Mets pick up part of his 2013 salary, maybe. It would be the same as buying him out, wouldn’t it? If his name even gets mentioned, that is a plus for the Mets.
What other positional prospects would the Mets potentially be willing to part with? Because David Wright and Ike Davis do not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, Wilmer Flores seems like a natural to be included in such a high profile trade. Anyone else? With the acquisition of Travis d’Arnaud, maybe that makes recent #1 draft pick, catcher Kevin Plawecki, expendable.
And lastly, in a recent posting I scanned the Mets farm system for pitching prospects. The Mets are assembling a rather deep talent pool in A-levels of the organization. Some of that talent should get their first taste of AA-ball this season.
Remember, this account is not about who the Mets have. This is about who they might make available. For a top tier outfielder, or any top player for that matter, this is who the Mets might potentially draw from:
1) – Lucas Duda
2) – Jon Niese or Dillon Gee
3) – Daniel Murphy or Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia
4) – outfield prospect
5) – pitching prospect
6) – alternative prospects – Wilmer Flores, Kevin Plawecki
Is there a combination of players or prospects listed here that seem suitable enough to land a major outfield talent? What can this group of players realistically haul in?