Any trade the New York Mets may make involving Amed Rosario is at best a short-term gain and long-term loss.
Last week in our first edition of Mets Monday Morning GM, I took a look at the two big holes in the New York Mets lineup. I spent a whole lot of time coming up with titles and phrases that didn’t have the words “a” and “hole” right next to each other because this is a family show.
Something from last week’s episode I want to continue on involves shortstop Amed Rosario. He is emerging as one of the club’s top trade candidates this winter and I want to discuss why just about any deal the Mets make involving him will become a long-term loss.
However, this doesn’t mean the Mets should put the brakes on trading him if the deal is right.
Rosario’s value is down at the moment but there are teams in the rebuilding phase that would snatch him up in a heartbeat. For the Mets, their primary target this winter when thinking about a trade involving Rosario should be to find a starting pitcher of no worse than number three quality.
The thing is, any team giving up a number three starter or better isn’t going to do so unless there’s a little more in it for them. In which case, the Mets need to offer some value back other than just Rosario.
It’s not hard to do. The Mets can provide the team in this hypothetical situation with a little salary relief. Rosario is unlikely to get traded for a number three starter that shops at the MLB Dollar Store. The Mets are looking at a guy with a salary the other team wants to dump.
Luckily, there are plenty of guys out there fitting this bill. Even the worst teams in baseball have an over-the-hill starter with some tricks left up his sleeve.
I won’t speculate too deeply into the names, but this summer, Lance Lynn would have been the kind of candidate to look at. Last winter, someone like Corey Kluber from the Cleveland Indians would have made sense.
Ironically, both of those pitchers are now with the Texas Rangers—a team the Mets have made three trades with in 2020.
Playing Mets GM
Parking myself in the Mets’ GM chair, I know heading into any trade involving Rosario that it’s going to be a long-term loss. Odds are far more in favor of Rosario having a productive career for a longer period of time than any starting pitcher the club may land for him.
But the goal in this trade isn’t to create a dynasty. It’s to win a championship or two while the Mets have this new arm in the rotation.
There needs to be some semblance of balance, though. Giving Rosario away is not an option. He’s not someone to trade for a one-year rental. I would hope to get at least three years out of anyone the team acquires for him.
The Mets are heading into the offseason with a lot of questions about the future of their starting rotation. Sans Jacob deGrom, they have nothing we can truly count on.
The Mets seem to have stumbled upon another “good problem to have” with the quicker than expected rise of Andres Gimenez. He has pushed us to consider some new possibilities involving the team’s starting shortstop for the last few seasons and whether or not he’s trade material.
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Rosario’s name has come up in past trade talks involving players such as J.T. Realmuto and Francisco Lindor. His down-year may have reduced his value in the eyes of some general managers. Others, with pitching to spare and some salary to reduce, may have eyes for the future while the Mets look at the present.