Another right-handed bat could do wonders for the New York Mets. Could Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty provide the support they need?
In our search to find ways to bolster the New York Mets roster for 2019, we need to open up the possibility of being bold. That means a willingness to trade those we’ve come to adore and swap them for players who fill a greater need.
That’s the case with a potential trade for outfielder Stephen Piscotty. A member of the 2018 Oakland Athletics, he’d give the Mets something they could really use: a right-handed outfield bat.
When the Mets open 2019, we can expect to see some combination of Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Brandon Nimmo in the outfield. While Lagares does hit right-handed, he has a track record of performing poorly against righty pitchers. He’s clearly best utilized as a platoon player. Because of this, the Metropolitans may want to look at a guy projected as an everyday player instead.
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Of course, Piscotty is far from perfect. He’s not even a center fielder which means someone would play out of position. Plus, when Yoenis Cespedes returns, we’ll see a crowded Mets outfield.
This isn’t a problem because a possible trade involving Piscotty may also cost them Nimmo. As great as he was in 2018, he looks like the left-handed Lagares without the Gold Glove-caliber defense. Nimmo would be a great fit for the Athletics thanks to his productive eye at the plate. It’s unlikely to happen, and quite frankly, I want to see more of Nimmo in New York first.
Regardless, there’s still room for Piscotty. Until Cespedes comes back, he could take over right field while Conforto and Nimmo play center field and left field. Lagares could slot in as the right-handed hitting alternative for either.
One thing we learned from the Athletics in the 2018 Wild Card Game is that they don’t trust their starting pitching. Perhaps this is the key at landing Piscotty.
The Mets have the pitching depth required to compete. They could even spare an arm.
A Piscotty for Zack Wheeler trade is not an insane plan. Wheeler is in the final year of his contract and someone who would be wise to test the free agent market thereafter. Steven Matz has also been inconsistent enough where shopping him for a bat may make sense.
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There’s no reason to believe the Athletics are interested in trading Piscotty or that the Mets hope to land a corner outfielder. This is the fun part of the offseason. We get to play a whole lot of pretend and weigh out every scenario possible.