The 2021 trade deadline was the most chaotic and action-packed in history. A total of TEN 2021 MLB All-Stars were shipped to new teams. While the New York Mets were not able to land a current All-Star, they were able to acquire noteworthy pieces.
The addition of veteran starter Rich Hill was the first move to be reported. Then, the hammer dropped! Reports began to emerge that the Mets had traded for superstar Javier Baez in a deal with the Chicago Cubs. Here is the full breakdown:
This latter move will capture all the headlines. And rightfully so. The addition pairs the longtime Cubs’ star with fellow All-Star Fransico Lindor. This will assuredly create one of the most dynamic middle infields in recent memory. If things go well this season, it also opens the door for a long-term pairing.
However, the blockbuster trade did come at a high price. The Mets were forced to part with 2020 1st round draft pick Pete Crow-Armstrong. Was this a mistake for New York? Let’s take a look:
Crow-Armstrong was a top prospect in the Mets’ farm system. He was also widely considered to be the franchise’s centerfielder of the future. The 19-year-old had become one of the more popular minor league players due to his ability to solidify a position that has felt unstable for years.
The Mets are a club that has cycled through centerfielder the way most teams go through closers. Current CF Brandon Nimmo has brought excellent on-base percentage numbers to the table. However, the natural corner outfielder has, at times, struggled defensively. This is a common story for New York.
The franchise has employed a plethora of one-dimensional players including (*takes a deep breath*): Juan Lagares, Jake Marisnick, Curtis Granderson, Billy Hamilton, Carlos Gomez, Yoenis Cespedes, Andres Torres, and Austin Jackson. The team has lacked a player with above-average defensive and hitting skills since Carlos Beltran suited up in blue and orange in the late 2000s.
Crow-Armstrong was believed to he this type of talent. His defensive abilities were rock-solid. He was also batting a blistering .417 in 2021 before seeing his season come to an end due to a shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery.