"In this new era of dwindling power, a slugger of Cespedes’ caliber is rare indeed.So why is there any doubt about what to do with him?First off, the Sox may recoil publicly at the idea that their glut of outfielders represents a problem. It could present an opportunity they can exploit in a trade and Cespedes would be a juicy piece of bait. Despite the Marlins’ recent assurance that they are not trading Giancarlo Stanton, that franchise’s word is worthless on such matters…The Red Sox owe it to themselves to pursue Stanton as hard as they can, which means that Cespedes could be a major piece the Marlins get in return.The Red Sox wanted to solve most of their offensive issues entering the offseason so they could focus on signing or trading for more starting pitching. It is counter-intuitive to think that the Red Sox would include Cespedes in a trade for a front-line starter after trading away a front-line starter to snag him in the first place."
Cespedes, who turns 29 on October 18, is set to become a free agent after next season. Stanton, who turns 25 in November, is due to become a free agent after the 2016 campaign.
The first question to ask is whether the Mets would be interested in Cespedes. As a power-hitting corner outfielder under 30 with a cannon for an arm, Cespedes is the type of player the Mets should be looking for.
Yes, Cespedes hasn’t gotten on base at a stellar clip either of the last two seasons, but he’s still been a roughly 3-win player. If he’s available, the Mets should be in on Cespedes. Not at all costs, but in.
The second question to ask is whether the Mets and Red Sox could match up on a deal – whether the Marlins are included as a third team or not with Stanton going to Boston.
I disagree with the assertion in the Herald that it would be “counter-intuitive” for the Red Sox to deal Cespedes for a front-line starter so soon after they acquired him for a front-line starter.
In acquiring Cespedes, the Red Sox dealt a rental player (Lester) who will command an astronomical contract this offseason. They did not deal a young, under control front-line starter.
Boston still needs starting pitching, and the Mets are flush with it.
The Mets could try to make a deal for Cespedes work with Jon Niese, and would probably be rebuffed.
Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom should be off the table in any potential deal for Cespedes (and most other players in baseball). That leaves Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard as pitchers who the Mets could dangle and who would likely interest the Red Sox. If it came to it, the Mets would have a tough choice on their hands.