Mets History Rewritten: Passing on Francisco Rodriguez for a chance to draft Mike Trout
By Michael Calascione
You have to sacrifice to get the best
The question everyone wants to ask is where could the Mets have been having baseball’s best player for the last eight years?
Not as great as one may think. Some fans would just add Trout to the Mets rosters from 2012 to now without thinking of some of the ramifications that could occur, and some of them are quite significant.
Let’s evaluate the numbers and go through some of the past seasons.
In 2012 the outfield configuration was Jason Bay Andres Torres and Lucas Duda left to right. The three of them combined for -0.6 WAR while Trout alone recorded 10.5 WAR that same season.
If Trout’s WAR in 2012 is translated to the Mets it is reasonable that they would probably have had around 10 more wins than they did. This would have brought their final record to 85-77. While this would have fallen short of the playoffs, there would have been other ramifications that would have happened due to having a better record.
Having a better record seems good on the surface but some things would have changed potentially for the worse had Mike Trout had been on the Mets. For example, if the Mets had a record of 85-77 in 2012, they potentially would not have been able to draft Dominic Smith due to a lower draft selection and they potentially would not have been able to sign Andres Gimenez due to a decrease in international spending.
This may not seem like a big deal but Dominic Smith is someone who in 2019 showed his true potential of being both a great piece for the Mets moving forward and also being a valuable trade chip. Also, Gimenez is a top prospect who could fill some roles in 2020 and beyond or also become a trade chip. Definitely two significant pieces.
The 2013 season would have a similar outcome. The outfield alignment that year was Eric Young Jr., Juan Lagares, and Marlon Byrd left to right. Had the Mets had Mike Trout that year they potentially would have had nine more wins finishing with an 84-78 record yet still miss the playoffs.
Like 2012, having a better record in 2013 would come with ramifications. What if the Mets had an 84-78 record in 2013 instead of the 74-88 record they had? Well, their draft spot would have been about seven spots lower. This means that the Mets would not have had the opportunity to draft Michael Conforto.