Over at Sodo Mojo, Fansided’s Seattle Mariners website, comes another Jeff McNeil trade proposal to dissect. One of the hottest names on the trade market, the New York Mets infielder/outfielder is drawing plenty of interest among fans and general managers who win and break our hearts.
We’ve written about the possibility of trading McNeil plenty on Rising Apple. A trade proposed by the Cincinnati Reds blog already received my seal of disapproval. Now, it’s time to visit Seattle and do the same.
The trade from Max Ellingsen would send both McNeil and David Peterson to the Mariners for Chris Flexen and Erik Swanson. Swanson is a 28-year-old reliever with only last season standing out as successful on his resume. Flexen, well, you know him already.
Where’s that Michael Scott GIF of him screaming “No!” when you need it?
Why this Mets trade with the Mariners doesn’t work
Something I don’t think fans of other teams realize is just how valuable McNeil was up until last season. He hit over .300 in three opportunities. His ability to play multiple positions counts for something. It also opens up more teams for the Mets to trade him to.
Sentimentally, this trade immediately doesn’t work for Mets fans. Flexen was with the organization already for three years and did not blossom. Now about to enter his age 27 season, he looks like a much different pitcher. Bringing him back still feels wrong even if the numbers say it could be right.
Flexen figured a lot out overseas in 2020. Returning to the states in 2021, he earned himself a three year deal with Seattle that will pay him a little over $3 million in 2022 with a possible $4 million payday coming his way in 2023. It’s a modest total for a guy who had never proven a thing at the big league level. Thus far, Seattle has gotten themselves a bargain. Good for them!
I understand the thinking about this trade. Flexen is younger and if the last two years are any indication, his early days with the Mets will soon be forgotten. The 8.07 ERA he posted in 68 innings for them as a starter and reliever won’t be a big part of his career.
Flexen has his own questions as does Swanson. McNeil is a far more proven big league player than either with more than a single season showcasing what he can do. The reason why the Mets are looking at pitchers from the Reds or Oakland Athletics in exchange for McNeil is because those guys have succeeded more than once. Flexen has one major league season he can brag about.
My feelings might change if Flexen’s beginnings weren’t in a Mets uniform. As Shakespeare penned, “would a pitcher by any other name make this trade work?”
The fact that he did struggle with the Mets doesn’t help matters. While his 14-6 with a 3.61 ERA performance last year is close to what the Mets should look to acquire in any deal for McNeil, reunions often ask for trouble.
What’s more, Peterson is the youngest of the four names mentioned and not someone to just give away. His value has gone down after last year but 66.2 poor innings after some success in 2020 won't make him expendable, especially when all you’re getting back in return are two pitchers with questions of their own.
Respectfully, I run for the hills at the idea of this deal.