In case you’re living under a rock—which I will not judge you because the housing market is still nuts—the New York Mets picked up Chris Bassitt over the weekend in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The price was two prospects. Two guys who may never make an impact in the major leagues. A pair of players who could potentially spend the rest of their careers riding around on minor league buses.
That’s the thing about prospects. You have no idea what they will become! And if you look at most MLB trades throughout the history of the game, the ones where the prospect ends up being the better choice are rare.
Nevertheless, the Mets managed to secure a starting pitcher for the 2022 season. They did it without trading J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, or Dominic Smith. Now, they may not need to deal any of the three at all.
The need for the Mets to trade a big league position player is no longer there
A Mets bench with J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith on it looks pretty good. Put Jeff McNeil back at second base, let him hug it out with Francisco Lindor, and let’s go!
The whole point of trading any of those three wasn’t to get rid of them. They’re not a mother-in-law. They are useful and you would never fake sleepy so you could have some privacy away from them. Davis, McNeil, and Smith are all good and proven big league hitters whose place on the Mets only came into question because of other additions and struggles from the three in 2021. Fortunately, there’s no absolute need to shed salary or even open up a roster spot.
The thing is, if the Mets were to subtract any of the three, they’d just be looking to replace him with something similar. So unless there’s a guy lined up to replace them, why deal them away?
You can get prospects back and replenish the farm system a little bit, but how much would a team really sacrifice for any of these three? McNeil would yield the largest return yet there’s no real point in doing so. The Mets are going for a championship this year. That means stacking the roster from one to twenty-six.
Somehow, someway, the Mets managed to pick up a quality big leaguer pitcher without making the major league roster look any weaker. At this stage of the game, Billy Eppler can break the subtraction button on his calculator. It should be about adding relievers in free agency and maybe seeing if a bat strolls over.