As most of the nation slept through a turkey coma on Friday, the baseball world was abuzz reacting to some mock trades over at MLB.com. Leading off was a blockbuster deal between the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays that wasn't nearly as automatic to agree on making as Robert Person for John Olerud.
Here's what they proposed:
Blue Jays receive Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil
Mets receive Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Alek Manoah
Mets fans were quick to dismiss the deal. It’s easy to see why. The inclusion of Pete Alonso alone is enough to scoff at. However, plenty of Blue Jays followers would have pause for the same, too. A rental first baseman and a light hitting utility man for a recent MVP runner-up with age on his side? Maybe this isn't good for either club. From a Mets perspective, the deal is all risk with limited reward.
This mock Mets trade doesn't move the needle in the right direction
A debate about whether Pete Alonso or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the better first base option can happen somewhere else. Guerrero has an extra year of control. At only 24-years-old, his best days may still be in the future. He has a larger arsenal of weapons, too. He isn't as predictable as Alonso who we know will always hit home runs and drive in teammates even in a somewhat down season. Guerrero has much less power but a Gold Glove and is much more prone to hitting for contact.
Let's call the inclusion of these two even enough.
Where this trade goes awry is the Jeff McNeil for Alek Manoah aspect. Only a year removed from winning a batting title and less than one since he signed his extension with the Mets, it seems like too big of a risk to shell him out for Manoah.
News to no one, Manoah was dreadful this past year. It doesn't matter how much of a genius Jeremy Hefner's reputation says he is. You can't always fix someone. Anyone who has watched enough 90 Day Fiancé knows this.
The Blue Jays are more in desperation mode to trade Manoah than this deal suggests. As acceptable as it would be for the Mets to have Guerrero replace Alonso in a situation where they have no other choice, the trade itself doesn't make the Mets any better unless Manoah rediscovers what made him so good. The Mets can't be trading away big league contributors for a "maybe." Manoah has already shown his, uh, less tantalizing side. He refused to report to the Triple-A team after an August demotion, his second of the year.
Projects like Manoah are available elsewhere and for cheaper. First basemen to replace Alonso are much tougher to find, but there’s also no replacement needed at the moment. Alonso and McNeil aren’t above being traded (although they shouldn’t be), however, this trade just doesn’t bring the Mets what they’d need to acquire for either.
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