Mets take first steps to replenish their farm system with three upside arms
The New York Mets front office has accomplished another goal on their to-do list this offseason with the recent trade of starting pitcher Steven Matz to the Toronto Blue Jays. That objective in case you may be wondering was restocking the farm system that has been depleted over the past two seasons in numerous trades by former General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
More specifically, the front office wanted to restore the depth in the upper portion of their system which they achieved with the addition of three arms in Wednesday evening’s trade.
Over the past couple of seasons, we’ve seen the likes of Justin Dunn, Anthony Kay, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Kevin Smith, Blake Tayor, and Jordan Humphreys purged from the farm system. It’s an impressive list of arms that have been traded in a time where the Mets could have certainly used them last season, as well as this season as they look to reestablish both minor league depth as well as pitching depth as a whole.
While the front office’s hopes of reestablishing the farm system to be among one of the best in baseball will take a couple of seasons, the organization certainly took a large step in the right direction with Wednesday’s trade.
The fact that the front office was able to receive as much value for a player in Steve Matz that had no guarantees on being on the Major League roster come April, as well as was a non-tender candidate not too long ago is remarkable.
The New York Mets acquired three high upside arms for Steven Matz to begin the process of replenishing the farm system that was left barren.
The Mets acquired 25-year old Sean Reid-Foley, who was once ranked as a top-100 overall prospect by MLB.com, 24-year old Yennsy Diaz, and 22-year old Josh Winckowski. All three players profile as high-upside arms with Reid-Foley and Diaz being the two pitchers who can realistically contribute to the major league roster in 2021 at some point.
Reid-Foley has experience both starting as well as pitching in relief in his brief Major League career with the Blue Jays. He profiles as a pitcher who can help the Mets either as a spot-starter next season or as an option out of the bullpen. While the results have been mixed over the last three seasons for Reid-Foley, in five appearances last season out of the bullpen he posted a 1.35 ERA but had a bit of trouble with his command as he had as many walks as strikeouts with six.
If anything there is no rush for Reid-Foley to make an impact at the Major League level for the Mets in 2021. He can be sent down to Syracuse to continue his development should he not make the roster out of camp and he simply provides the Mets with a high-upside depth addition, aside from the recycled options we have used in the past.
Yennsy Diaz was ranked as the Blue Jays 26th ranked prospect by MLB.com and he has starting experience in the minors, but many believe he is suited for the bullpen long term. I would not be surprised in the slightest however if the Mets continue his development in Syracuse this year as a starting pitcher, as he threw over 140 innings both in 2018 and in 2019.
Diaz being developed as a starter could provide more value to the organization in my opinion, because the majority of the pitchers that have been traded away had been starters for the Mets in the minors. If worse comes to worst, Diaz could provide the Mets a hard-throwing arm out of the bullpen down the line as his average fastball velocity comes in at a blistering 97 MPH.
Lastly, the arm that intrigues me most from this deal is Josh Winckowski, who was ranked as the 27th prospect in the Blue Jays organization by MLB.com. While Winckowski maybe a couple of years away from making his MLB debut, he reminds me of a raw right-handed version of David Peterson. The right-hander is similar in stature to Peterson, but also has a sinker and slider that he uses to get hitters out.
MLB.com reports that Winckowski uses his frame to pitch downhill, which is similar to Peterson, and if he could improve his changeup, he has the ability to become a back-end rotation option down the line. I believe it’s key to keep an eye on Josh Winckowski’s development over the next few seasons as he has as potential to become an option for the starting rotation in a couple of seasons.
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The Mets front office was able to net three arms with upside for one arm who had a murky future with the organization heading into Spring Training. We should commend Zack Scott and Sandy Alderson for beginning to revive a pipeline that is in desperate need of upside arms, as well as following through with giving Mets fans a belief that they will repair the bare cupboard left behind by Brodie Van Wagenen.