NY Mets put a Band-Aid on the bleeding outfield with the Billy McKinney trade
By Tim Boyle
Who did we expect the New York Mets to trade for, Mike Trout? Late on Tuesday night, the team swung a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Billy McKinney. Amazingly still just 26-years-old despite being involved in three high-profile trades already in his career, McKinney is a Band-Aid on a much bigger problem facing the Mets.
This is now the second outfielder the Mets have acquired from a National League Central team. While the good people over at Blog Red Machine shared a few bigger trade ideas for the Mets to think about making with the Cincinnati Reds, this move for McKinney makes a lot more sense.
Players are going to get healthy again. When they do, McKinney is likely getting designated for assignment and thanked for anything good he was able to accomplish during his pit stop in New York.
Let’s hope this Mets trade for Billy McKinney yields better results than the Cameron Maybin deal
Only a few days ago, the Mets sent three quarters, a nickel, a dime, and ten pennies to the Chicago Cubs for veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin. The return has been atrocious even if all it did was deplete the extra change they would have tossed into the tip jar anyway.
McKinney is a much different player than Maybin. Not quite a power hitter or a guy who has ever been a regular since debuting back in 2018, McKinney at least has some upside to think about. Maybin is clearly in his twilight.
Because he has only one year of significant action in the big leagues, I’m not sure what the best way to predict McKinney’s time with the Mets would be. He comes over to New York batting .207/.260/.359 in 100 plate appearances with the Brewers this year. In 2019, when the Toronto Blue Jays gave him 276 trips to the plate, McKinney hit .215/.274/.422 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI.
Looking at his 162 game average, which is only two fewer games than he has actually played in his major league career, McKinney projects out to hit .226/.285/.422 with 21 home runs and 46 RBI. It’s unimpressive. It is the best a team can do in late May when no one is ready to sell and the only solution is short-term.
On the plus side, McKinney can enjoy his short stay with the Mets by becoming a franchise folk hero the same way Patrick Mazeika has this year. I think everyone knows the deal with Mazeika; he’s probably not going to play regularly for the Mets anytime soon. However, his ability to win games due to his sorcery has made him an early fan favorite, possibly for life.
McKinney may be able to add his face to the 2021 Mets Yearbook with his defense. Earlier this year, he flashed the leather over in left field.
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Hopefully, he’s a little more than just a big catch for the Mets. They need whatever his bat can provide them. Right now, the .226 he has hit for his career would be a delight.