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New York Mets History

Mets History Rewritten: Passing on Francisco Rodriguez for a chance to draft Mike Trout

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stand in the on deck circle during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 1, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim stand in the on deck circle during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 1, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 07: Michael Conforto #30 of the New York Mets celebrates his sixth inning home run against the Colorado Rockies with teammate Dominic Smith #22 at Citi Field on June 07, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The reality may not be as awesome as it seems

This just scratches the surface of how one move such as not signing K-Rod and drafting Trout can ripple in ways unrealized. So, through 2014 the Mets are without Dominic Smith, Andres Gimenez, and Michael Conforto. This is not to say that the Mets would not have drafted or signed players just as good as them but that is forever unknown.

These are some significant pieces being removed and it does not end there. For example, with Trout in the fold along with Lagares and Curtis Granderson do the Mets sign Michael Cuddyer who played a big role for the Mets in the clubhouse during the 2015 postseason run?

If they do not sign Cuddyer, they would not have lost their first-round draft pick which could have been Walker Buehler and could have elevated the team potentially further.

Another wrinkle in this alternate universe is in 2015 if the Mets outfield consisted of Trout and Grandy and Lagares do the Mets trade for Yoenis Cespedes? If the Mets do not trade for Cespedes do the Mets make that run to the World Series? If they do does Alcides Escobar not set the tone of the World Series with an inside-the-park homer leading to a Mets Championship?

On the bright side, it is presumable that the Mets would have a player who would have won multiple MVP awards and could go down as one of if not the greatest player in baseball history.

With the loss of all these players due to better records and the positional surplus could the Mets have been a contender with the players they were replaced with? Sure, but an added layer to this is Trout’s contract extension.

The franchise is owned by the Wilpons who are cheap as all fans know but it also seems to be an organizational philosophy to not give out long-term high-priced contracts. So, what would have happened in 2015, the year Trout received a six-year $144M extension from the Angels? Would the Mets have given him one after seeing what happened to David Wright and his large extension?

What if they did and they were back-to-back World Series champs in 2015 and 2016. Would the Mets have given Trout the 12-year $426.5M extension? Probably not.

Having Mike Trout on the Mets for the last eight years sounds wonderful but, the Mets would probably have been the Angels with better pitching. The difference is the Mets would have let Trout walk and they would be without Trout, Conforto, Smith, etc and the team could be worse off today than they really are.

Next. What if David Wright stayed healthy?

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Just the thought of Mike Trout being on the Mets makes fans salivate but when the team is analyzed for what they would be like today, I bet fans would think twice.

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