Mets: Three subtle trades to improve the team for the 2020 season
By Staff Writer
Yankees, Tigers, and Mets, Oh My!
Another trade the Mets would be wise to consider is one where they acquire someone to be their every day, reliable and effective hitting center fielder. I know, many of you really like Brandon Nimmo and that infectious smile of his, but honestly, I see him more as a high-end fourth outfielder than I do an everyday starter.
Having only one full year under his belt where he has stayed healthy since the Mets called him up in his four years in the majors isn’t enough to convince me that Nimmo can be an every day productive center fielder. As a fourth outfielder, however, I can see Nimmo as an upgrade over Juan Lagares‘ bat without that much of a drop off on defense.
Other fans would consider giving Jeff McNeil a chance of playing 120 to 130 games in right field and moving Michael Conforto over to center on a full time basis. While that may have a chance of working, having watched McNeil play right field a lot last year, he just didn’t look very comfortable in that position to me.
There were many instances where I saw him misjudge line drive fly balls off of opponents’ bats or take wrong angles to cut off balls hit to him in the outfield. I think he would be better off being the everyday starting third baseman and occasionally relieving Robinson Cano at second base defensively. The infield just seems to be more naturally suited for the Squirrel’s abilities.
And then there’s the man with the best exotic sport car collection on the entire team, Yoenis Cespedes. I honestly think we can forget about relying on Cespedes having any chance of coming back and giving us 120 to 140 games in the outfield for 2020. The team and us fans should realistically expect no more than 25 to 40 games at the most from the Cuban slugger.
If this is the case, the need for acquiring a durable, solid hitting and solid defensive center fielder should be a top priority for the Mets in 2020.
Since the Mets and Yankees are probably not going to be trading directly with one another any time soon, it might be in both teams’ best interests to bring in a third team to indirectly pull off a trade where the Mets send Andres Gimenez to a team like the Detroit Tigers and the Tigers send one of their young starters like Matthew Boyd to the Yankees. The Mets can get some combination of Clint Frazier and a young Double-A pitching prospect like Alex Faedo from Detroit to complete the deal.
The reason I propose putting Gimenez into the trade mix is the Mets have another, even better-looking prospect in Ronny Mauricio, who we can expect to come up and contribute as early as 2021 to this ball club. Between Mauricio, a budding star in Amed Rosario anchoring shortstop for many years to come and Jeff McNeil able to adequately play second or third, we can afford to use Giminez as a trade chip to fill other needs.
Clint Frazier, himself, has shown the ability to play all three outfield positions somewhat decently and has even commented on how comfortable he feels playing center field on an every day basis if he had the opportunity. At the plate, his discipline and contact abilities show, that given enough time and reps to play the big league level, Frazier has the potential to be as productive as Michael Conforto offensively.
And having a cost controlled outfield of Conforto, J.D. Davis and Frazier should be more than adequate enough to free up a big portion of team salary to be used towards relief pitching and adding a replacement starter for Zack Wheeler.