Which of these Mets trades will turn out to be the better one?
It’s hard to dislike either of these deals because nothing bad has come from them. Only Kay has reached the majors and he hasn’t been so great.
The one piece I think is most likely to bite the Mets is Woods Richardson. Within the next few years, he could be the ace of the Twins’ staff while the Mets only have memories of Stroman’s time with the club.
Crow-Armstrong, a first-round draft pick, can have the same effect on the Baez deal. Regardless of whether or not he does become a star with the Cubs or any other team, the price to acquire Baez was nothing nuts and worth it.
There is one other factor I think is worth considering in this discussion. Stroman returned to the Mets in 2021 via qualifying offer. In a way, it’s almost as if this is separate from the trade entirely. Depending on how you weigh it, it’s almost as if the Mets got even less time from Stroman.
Between the two, the Baez trade was the better one made by the Mets. They got a power-hitting infielder for two months plus more than a year of a pitcher they can have fill in as their long man or even emergency starter. Unless Crow-Armstrong becomes a true superstar, I can’t imagine this going down as a major loss for New York. They still had a chance to re-sign Baez but decided to go in a different direction.
When looking at the two deals, many might consider their impact on the locker room, too. Stroman’s personality may have rubbed a few the wrong way and the same has been speculated about in regards to Baez.
From a pure baseball standpoint, both deals worked out for the Mets. We’ll just need to hold our breaths and hope either of the double-last name prospects they traded away turn into something incredible.