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Mets Matt Harvey Conundrum: What if they traded him after 2015?

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets walks off the field after being relieved in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets walks off the field after being relieved in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals during Game Five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 16: Alex Bregman #2 of the Houston Astros hits an RBI double against Nathan Eovaldi #17 of the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning during Game Three of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 16, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Houston Astros

The Deal: Alex Bregman, Jake Marisnick and Joe Musgrove

The final imaginary trade is to send Matt Harvey to Houston for a package centered around Alex Bregman. The infielder was ranked as the forty-second overall prospect on Baseball America, who also ranked Joe Musgrove at eighty-three. Both were young players with much upside and both ended up in the majors by the end of 2016.

Bregman gained a great deal of traction after an impressive first half of the minors season that year. Then when he was called up for his debut, he had suffered an extensive cold stretch. While mired in a slump, a player cannot just shift from minor league to major league pitching. Thus his cold stretch was elongated and caused a loss in confidence. If handled properly, Bregman could have had a torrid start to his big league career.

Of all the potential players on this list, Bregman has had by far the most evidence of morphing into a bright star. His WAR, both last season and in his career, far exceeds that of Benintendi and Mazara. An extreme proficiency of power and plate discipline allowed him to accrue the impressive statistics of last season. His exceptional mark of 51 doubles was enough to lead the major leagues well complementing his 31 home runs and 103 RBI. A .286 average was the slightest of upgrades from his .284 mark from the season prior.

However, in all likelihood, his most impressive stat was his impeccable OPS. A .394 OBP and a .532 SLG allowed him to compile a .926 OPS, good enough for seventh in the major leagues.

His impressive bat is equal to his impressive glove, as he routinely makes quick picks of sharply struck balls. Quick instincts also assist him in throwing multiple batters out at home plate such as was seen in the 2017 postseason and World Series.

Possibly the most significant aspect of this trade would have been the ability to use Amed Rosario as a trade chip, considering Bregman’s original position was at shortstop.

Since this is all speculative, imagine the ability to ship Rosario with other prospects for J.T. Realmuto. Then since they would not have to sign Wilson Ramos, they could invest that free agent money in center fielder A.J. Pollock. Well, if this seems very easily said and not so easily done, it is. However, it is just an example of the options the Mets could have had.

Joe Musgrove is a fairly nice addition into the deal as well because he was able to contribute well to the Astros bullpen in the few years after his call up. Since his trade to the Pirates, he has been productive with a 4.06 ERA. The final piece was a depth measure for the Mets and a player that could provide backup to Juan Lagares, as a defensive specialist center fielder.

Potential 2019 lineup #1

  1. Brandon Nimmo CF
  2. Jed Lowrie 3B
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Alex Bregman SS
  5. Michael Conforto LF
  6. Wilson Ramos C
  7. Todd Frazier 1B
  8. Jeff McNeil RF
  9. Pitcher

Potential 2019 lineup #2

  1. A.J. Pollock CF
  2. Jed Lowrie 3B
  3. Robinson Cano 2B
  4. Alex Bregman SS
  5. J.T. Realmuto C
  6. Michael Conforto LF
  7. Todd Frazier 1B
  8. Pitcher
  9. Brandon Nimmo RF

Next. A look back at the Mets' collapses in 2007 and 2008

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These deals may not be completely realistic, however, they are an attempt to gauge how the Mets would have been far better off if they indeed traded Harvey. There was no way anyone can blame the front office for not foreseeing Harvey’s downfall. Yet there is something to be said about dealing with an asset when it has its most value. The Mets must keep this in mind when dealing with the futures of Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.

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