This past offseason, the New York Mets made one of, if not their biggest splashes in franchise history acquiring Francisco Lindor from the Indians. Lindor then agreed to a 10-year $341 million-dollar extension which will kick in next season. So, the Mets have their franchise shortstop for the next 11 years.
One of the Mets’ top prospects for the last couple of years has been shortstop Ronny Mauricio. He ranks 53rd on the top 100 prospect list on mlb.com, and second on the Mets only behind catcher Francisco Alvarez.
Mauricio is currently in A+ ball, and has an ETA of 2022 to reach the majors according to mlb.com. This season so far, Mauricio has slashed .239/.267/.461 with six home runs and 22 RBI. The base batting average and on-base percentage don’t look great, but the encouraging thing with him is his power. The six home runs already is a career-high, and it’s only June.
I think as a shortstop there is a lot to look forward to. His on-base skills are going to get better as he gets more disciplined at the plate, and he’s only 20 years old with so much room to grow. He’s got a good glove and seems to be developing nicely.
However, the Mets have their shortstop who they will not and should not move to a different position. So, the question has to be asked about Mauricio. Should they keep him or trade him?
There are benefits to the Mets keeping him and trading him
I think Mauricio can be a solid third baseman. He’s 6’3, 166 pounds so he probably checks out as more of a third baseman anyways. Since the Mets don’t have a long-term solution at third right now, he could be the answer.
But if that happens, then what happens with Brett Baty? Another top prospect who has been absolutely raking in the minors this year and is a third baseman. He technically could play first but then they’d have to move Pete Alonso, and that’s not going to happen.
I think ultimately the best move the Mets can make is to trade Mauricio. As difficult as it is to trade a top prospect, I think this is the move the Mets should make to solve this logjam. The Mets do have holes that trading Mauricio can help fill.
I think it’s a lot to ask to have Mauricio switch positions while also improving his offensive game enough to where I’d want him as the everyday third baseman in Queens.
One offer that really intrigued me this offseason, was Mauricio and others for Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suarez. That trade would’ve filled two needs the Mets had, but I don’t think I would want to do that trade now.
What I would do is go after a starting pitcher with team control. The Mets have Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman entering free agency this offseason, and really only have David Peterson under team control past next season as Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker both have player options after the 2022 season.
They also could target a center fielder, as Brandon Nimmo hasn’t shown that he can stay healthy and Michael Conforto becoming a free agent in the offseason.
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While I don’t love trading top prospects, the Mets are trying to win now, and I don’t think Mauricio can be ready to contribute for a couple of years, and he won’t be able to play his natural position. Trading him just seems like the most beneficial thing to do for both sides.