You thought your neighbors going through the divorce had a lot for sale last week on their lawn. Try looking at the Oakland Athletics. Everyone making good money is available and the New York Mets have an opportunity to take advantage.
Among the trade candidates, third baseman Matt Chapman has been on the fans’ radar for quite some time. He can hit for power and play Gold Glove-caliber defense. Flawed in other ways, he’d be an upgrade over what has been at the hot corner in recent seasons.
Unfortunately, the odds are stacked against the Mets in acquiring Chapman. Teams with better farm systems have a distinct advantage. As gut-wrenching as this realization may be for some Mets fans, it’s okay.
The Mets missing on a Matt Chapman trade isn’t such a bad thing after all
Brett Baty or Mark Vientos will become the Mets starting third baseman by the time the 2023 season begins. We all know it. So why waste valuable trade assets on Chapman?
I understand Baty and Vientos are no sure bet. I’m the last one to believe in any prospect. I can’t tell you how many prospects I saw over the years, mostly as a kid, collected their baseball cards and autographs only to get burned when they went bust very quickly.
Even without this consideration of Baty and Vientos both failing to become reliable big league players, Chapman’s situation doesn’t align perfectly with the Mets. His two years of control are worrisome for what it would cost to get him.
Any team trying to shed salary like the A’s will have no interest in taking J.D. Davis or Dominic Smith—the club’s top two trade candidates this offseason. What good does that do them? They save barely any money. The Athletics are looking for players to help them in the future, not burden their payroll. What’s more, Davis and Smith will reach free agency at around the same time as Chapman. They add no value to the future Las Vegas Athletics.
The only way the Mets could land Chapman would be to deplete their farm system. The front office regime has made it quite clear since taking over last winter that this isn’t a part of their plan. In which case, we can write off the possibility of seeing Chapman come to Flushing in anything but road greys—or maybe some ugly Player’s Week uniforms that look like condiment packets.
Finding an answer at third base is one of the top priorities for the front office this winter. Chapman, for his high cost and the “wait and see option” the club has with a pair of prospects, should steer the Mets in a different direction.