The New York Mets have had some solid prospects come through the system in the past couple of seasons. The Seattle Mariners seem to think so too as they have steadily been acquiring former Mets prospects.
The Seattle Mariners recent signing of former New York Mets pitcher Chris Flexen grabbed my attention. This signing for them at first just floated over my head as I thought “Oh hey look a former Met signed a deal, good for him”. Then I realized that the Mariners are starting to make a trend here.
This is not the first former Mets prospect to find their way to the Mariners in recent years and it does not seem like it will be the last. Although Flexens time with the Amazins was all but that as he struggled greatly, he was a top prospect at one point. As recently as 2018 Flexen was considered a top prospect in the Mets system. Going into the 2018 season Flexen was the Mets ninth-best prospect according to MLB.com.
Following the 2019 season, the New York non-tendered Flexen, resulting in his release from the organization. He went on to sign a deal with the KBO league in Korea the next day. This move panned out well for him as he put up great numbers and was rewarded with a 2-year worth $4.75M with the Mariners.
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At the time of writing this article, the Mariners most recent acquisition of a former Mets prospect is Rafael Montero. Going into the 2013 season he was ranked as the Mets fifth-best prospect by Baseball America for the Mets.
Montero was such a high prospect at one point he was in the same talks as Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, and even Jacob deGrom. He obviously never lived up to this hyped as he struggled quite a bit in the majors for the Mets. He pitched in parts of four seasons before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018 and electing free agency at the end of the year.
Following his departure from the Amazins, Montero inked a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers while recovering from surgery. He got the call to the big leagues in 2019 and put up great numbers working out of the bullpen and put up respectable numbers in 2020 too. This was good enough for the Mariners as they sent one of their pitching prospects and a player to be named later for him.
Next up on the former Mets list the Mariners acquired is Sam Haggerty. While Haggerty was never technically a prospect for the Mets, he was a young player with years of control and had not received a “real” opportunity before being designated for assignment.
The Mariners picked up Haggerty prior to the 2020 season and he ended up seeing time on the major league roster. Although it was a shortened season, Haggerty did put up respectful numbers in the limited time he saw while being able to provide defensive versatility.
Another former Met that was not considered a top prospect, but was young and had years of control that the Mariners acquired is Gerson Bautista. Despite the fact that Bautista was never looked at as a top prospect, it is still hard seeing a young player with years of control being dealt when the return is not great.
Bautista was part of the Cano deal that saw the Mets send a plethora of talent to the Mariners. Even though he was not one of the top pieces going from the Mets to the Mariners, he is still a former Met that was young with years of control and is no longer in Queens.
The two biggest acquisitions the Mariners made for former Met prospects are Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic in the famous Robinson Cano trade. Dunn was ranked as New York’s third-best prospect going into the 2018 season by MLB.com. Kelenic was the Mets first round and sixth overall pick in 2018 and was just recently ranked as the Mariners number one prospect in 2020. He was also the eleventh best prospect in baseball according to MLB.com and Baseball America.
Dunn has not quite lived up to the expectations put on him, although it is a small sample size in the Major Leagues so far and he has time to turn it around. He ended up making his debut the following season he was traded in addition to pitching this past season in 2020.
Kelenic has not made his debut yet, but he has shined in the minors and in various clips posted on the internet. In 2019 he was also selected to the All-Star Futures Game.
Although it could very well be nothing, I found it awfully interesting how many ex-Met prospects the Mariners have acquired recently. Do the Mariners see something that the Mets don’t? Are the Mets undervaluing their players and the Mariners are trying to take advantage of it? Only time will tell to truly give an answer.
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