Here’s a thought that goes against what we’ve all been thinking about this offseason: what if the New York Mets don’t make any trades?
Don’t trade anybody. Are you insane? The offseason is the time to execute deals. You force one beloved player to pack up all of his things and move to a faraway city in exchange for some other guys who have to do the same. School systems welcome new children. The post office gets confused. U-Haul rejoices at the idea of a few more rentals.
For the Mets, the talk of the offseason has been all about who they may or may not trade. J.D. Davis, Jeff McNeil, and Dominic Smith have been at the forefront of any of those discussions. But what if nothing gets done?
The Mets can get away with not trading anyone away and be in pretty good shape
The Mets have actually been far more active in recent years with trades than they were for quite some time. In building their 2015 Opening Day roster, many of the key players were originally Mets or free agent additions. Even Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud were minor leaguers when the Mets brought them over from the Toronto Blue Jays in a trade.
Of course, the Mets would end up making many deals at the trade deadline when they realized they had built a winner. Yoenis Cespedes gave them power while Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe gave them depth. For the pitching staff, Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed helped give them a more trustworthy bullpen.
Trades are important. But when you have a free agent pool to pull from, you don’t always need to subtract.
What the Mets can do instead of trading players away plus the bene
Consider this: the Mets don’t make another trade. They sign someone like Carlos Rodon to hopefully improve the rotation. They do the same by adding two more relievers. Things are looking pretty good. All the while, the Mets have Davis, McNeil, and Smith still on the roster. The only difference is now they’re either part-time or bench players.
This isn’t such a bad idea. At least one guy from the expected starting nine is going to get hurt badly and miss significant time. Another will just play horrifically all season long. The Davis, McNeil, and Smith trio, with their combined ability to handle every position other than catcher, shortstop, and center field, could help the team survive those oncoming annual disasters.
The Mets have some amazing positional flexibility even beyond these three. Eduardo Escobar can play multiple infield and outfield positions. Mark Canha has experience at all three outfield spots plus first base.
The team is well insured if they were to keep Davis, McNeil, and Smith for the 2022 season. Their coverage includes injuries and season-long slumps; a type of coverage they didn’t seem to have so much of in 2021.
One more quality starting pitcher is what the Mets need most to feel really confident. However, if Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker were to rebound nicely and do what we thought they would last year (a big IF) then the Mets are suddenly rich with talent in the starting five. It’s not the biggest travesty to enter the season with Tylor Megill or David Peterson as the number five starter—just not preferable considering how much else the team did to get better.
There are some obvious players to trade, others to acquire, and areas to upgrade. Nonetheless, doing nothing at all might not be the worst thing of all.