The already-hot Troy Tulowitzki-to-the-Mets rumors reached a boiling point today when Jeff Passan reported New York’s willingness to part with Noah Syndergaard to bring in the Rockies shortstop. Syndergaard has long been considered the untouchable prospect when it came to trade talk, but with Colorado floundering and “Tulowizkigate” in full force, it may be the perfect storm of opportunity. Ron Darling has been vocal about the Mets making a Piazza-esque deal. Syndergaard for Tulowitzki is that deal.
Jul 9, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Kyle Parker (16) during the game against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
While Sandy Alderson and Dan O’Dowd are discussing the pieces of this would-be blockbuster deal, the Mets should express interest in adding Triple-A Rockies outfielder Kyle Parker to the package.
One of the reasons the Rockies have also been willing to move Carlos Gonzalez is that they already have a full set of outfielders. Corey Dickerson, Drew Stubbs, and Charlie Blackmon are all in their prime and are all hitting over .300 this season. If there’s no room at Coors Field for CarGo, what of their 2010 first-rounder?
Kyle Parker has spent one season each progressing through the Colorado minor-league system. In this, his Triple-A season, 24-year-old Parker has hit .295 with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, 51 RBIs, and .869 OPS in Colorado Springs. Because of the proximity of Denver to Colorado Springs, he has made two brief trips to the majors this summer as a first base stopgap. Parker profiles, though, as a corner outfielder, and with a couple more months of Pacific Coast League seasoning, he should be ready for full-time major-league action next year. Even if his power numbers are inflated in Colorado Springs, Parker’s ability to hit doubles will translate well at Citi Field.
Jul 19, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) prepares to bat in the on-deck circle against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
If Alderson is only interested in trades that will help the Mets in 2015 and beyond, he should take a serious look at Parker. He would fill one of New York’s two problem positions, left field, for the better part of a decade. Bringing in Parker with Tulowitzki, who settles the other problem position, would give the Mets immense lineup consistency through 2020.
There are reasons why a Parker-to-New York deal may only work as a Tulowitzki add-on. First, non-contenders don’t make a habit of selling off future assets. The Rockies may be more likely to part with Drew Stubbs, who is 29 and can help a contender now, and make Parker the future. Second, assuming the Mets have three big potential trade chips in Bartolo Colon, Daniel Murphy, and Kevin Plawecki, none match well with the Rockies. The elder Colon only makes sense for a 2014 contender, and Colorado already has second base and catcher covered by DJ LeMahieu and Wilin Rosario, who are each 25 and having good seasons.
If the Rockies are intent on moving Tulowitzki, however, they may still be willing to part with Parker as well. The Mets would have to throw in another quality pitching prospect, of course. Sending away Rafael Montero with Syndergaard may be too much to stomach, but one pitcher who Alderson may be willing to part with is lefty starter Steven Matz.
Jul 9, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies first baseman Kyle Parker (16) during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Matz’s stock has risen thanks to a successful mid-season promotion to Double-A; he’s on the fringe of becoming a Top-100 prospect in all of baseball. He’s 23 years old, ancient for Double-A until you consider his 2010 Tommy John surgery. Since then, he’s been stellar, and as 26-year-old Jacob deGrom has proven, even older rookies can still find big league success.
Even if Syndergaard is traded, the Mets’ rotation is already set for years, meaning Steven Matz may find the door to Flushing shut when his time comes. Including him with Syndergaard in a Rockies deal would give Colorado a lefty-righty combo for the future. The offer may be enticing enough for Dan O’Dowd to throw in one of his team’s extra outfielders.
There may be other mid-level trimmings, but the core of this blockbuster would have the Rockies trading Troy Tulowitzki and Kyle Parker to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz. The Rockies get their pitching, and the Mets round out their lineup for an all-in 2015 campaign. Sandy Alderson already has a reputation for pulling off successful trades. A Tulowitzki-Parker deal could put him in Frank Cashen territory.