It might not be today. It might not be tomorrow. But someday, the New York Mets are going to need to take advantage of the increasingly strong farm system they are building.
Everything the current regime has said or done thus far has indicated they would prefer to hold steadfast and watch these kids grow. It’s a good strategy but not the winningest formula.
With several notable prospects climbing up the ranks and actually looking like they can be big league contributors one day, the Mets need to begin to ask themselves: which of these young kids has a future at Citi Field and which ones become trade bait?
As painful as it is, the Mets will need to trade some future for the benefit of the now
The Mets could build a pretty good baseball team in a few years using only their prospects—possibly. You never know with minor league players. Some future stars become good bench players for years. Others rise up under our noses and become core members of the organization.
This franchise has multiple guys at a variety of positions we can view as future big leaguers. Identifying which ones should stay and which should go is never easy. It’s a combination of scouting and having faith in some of your players already at the major league level.
As ideal as it would be to flip from one generation to the next, that’s not how timing works. The Mets already have a lot of young guys in the starting lineup. There isn’t room for everyone.
Timing the market is key
Who knows more about timing the market than billionaire hedge fund owner Steve Cohen? You know, the guy who just happens to own the Mets!
There is a market in baseball to time. You don’t want all of your players to get old and/or become free agents at the same time. This is what happened to the team in 2017 and they had little to show for it the next year as they traded away multiple pieces for not much else in return.
Moving forward, the situation should be different. We expect the club to be perennial buyers each year, at least to some extent. There’s still a market to time. For instance, we want prospect Francisco Alvarez to be ready for everyday catching duties just as James McCann’s deal is over. Whenever Pete Crow-Armstrong is knocking on the big league door, we hope there’s an opening in the outfield.
It’s impossible to time all of this perfectly. We often see notable prospects blocked by major league players. The Mets need to limit this as much as possible.
Something to note: they won’t hit on it perfectly nor should they attempt to. There are prospects we’re excited about right now that will ultimately turn into trade bait. Rather than move forward with players at a surplus position, it would make a whole lot more sense for the team to flip them for a position of need.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!Write for us!
When will this happen? The front office seems focused on doing whatever they can to improve the big league roster without putting a dent in their minor league system. Eventually, they’ll need to suffer the pain of trading away a potential future star. That’s often what it takes to win a World Series.