Mets have a better chance at nabbing Realmuto if they take Chen too
By Tim Boyle
Those who do not believe the New York Mets can acquire J.T. Realmuto do so knowing this team does not have the prospect firepower other organizations do. Maybe the solution is taking on a financial burden from the Miami Marlins.
New York Mets fans really want J.T. Realmuto. The cost-effective Miami Marlins catcher is still in his prime and would give this organization a gigantic boost behind the plate.
The problem is, the Mets don’t have many intriguing players the Marlins could want.
All of the Mets best young talent is at the major league level. The Mets aren’t trading Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto is too close to arbitration for the Marlins to consider. Plus, why trade away such a key piece to their lineup?
If the Mets have any shot at landing Realmuto, it would require them to help Derek Jeter unload the payroll. Since Realmuto barely makes a dent in their pockets, the Mets may need to take someone who does.
The Most Expensive Marlins
The Marlins only have a handful of players making over $10 million. Starlin Castro is the most talented, but also a guy I don’t see the Fish dealing away without getting a nice haul back. Castro has value. He’s a young and experienced infielder who can actually play baseball.
The Mets need to look at guys who don’t fit those criteria. Thankfully, there are other candidates.
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Infielder Martin Prado is about as cooked of a position player as you can find. He’s battling injuries and not producing on the field.
A similar sentiment can be said about pitcher Wei-Yin Chen. The veteran southpaw has been injured for most of his Marlins’ tenure and he’s about to make a lot more money in 2019.
You see, the Marlins did think they had a chance at competing only a few years ago. They were riding high with an All-Star outfield and ace Jose Fernandez anchoring the rotation. Looking for some help, they signed Chen to a horrific contract.
Though Chen only makes $10 million this year, he already pocketed $28 million in his first two seasons with Miami. The total grows even more over the next two years with $42 million owed to him. There’s a vesting option in 2021, which I doubt he’ll make as it requires him to stay on the field.
At the risk of embarrassing myself with a pun, the Marlins are really taking it on the “Chen” with this signing.
Could the Mets help bail them out?
We have seen plenty of teams make a trade and accept an expensive player only to release him shortly after. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers made one this past offseason. The deal involved Mets first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. In case you didn’t know, the Braves are paying him over $20 million this season to play for the Mets. Maybe the Marlins can get the Mets to pay for some of Chen’s deal.
If you’re the Marlins, it’s definitely worth considering. This is largely dependent on how long they believe this rebuild would take. Since the contract isn’t too lengthy, the Mets will still need to give up something pretty sweet in the deal.
Next: Braves and Phillies are a threat to the Mets
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The biggest challenge here is to convince the often frugal front office to willingly take a player who may never see the field at such a high price. If it means landing Realmuto, can the Mets really put a price on it?