So far, David Stearns has done some simple card tricks. His tenure as the President of Baseball Operations hasn’t been overly complicated. Not one of his moves for the New York Mets has stunned us. He has stayed simple and practical. What if he surprised us all and actually made a significant trade? A team matching well with what the Mets need and what we can offer back are the Colorado Rockies.
This isn’t anything new. The Rockies who’ve been a bit down and out of the playoff race for several seasons haven’t been shy about spending. Their roster has six guys making $10 million or more in the coming year. Two are recovering from Tommy John Surgery. If interested in shedding some salary, the Mets look like the team to help.
Kris Bryant isn’t coming to the Mets although the idea of a former MVP who can play third base and left field is intriguing. Also staying away from Queens is Charlie Blackmon, despite his name always seemingly popping up in the offseason or at the trade deadline. Blackmon will retire with the Rockies. Bryant may be forced to as his tenure there hasn’t exactly made him an appealing trade candidate in any form. If you forgot he was even with them, you’re not alone.
Although there aren’t any rumors of the Rockies shopping these three or the Mets looking into it, an inquiry now but more likely in the future is something we could see.
1) Kyle Freeland
The 30-year-old lefty born in Denver would probably need to request a trade for this to happen. Approving a deal to go to the Mets might prove difficult for a hometown kid playing for the major league club that debuted the same year he was born. Kyle Freeland is still a match for the Mets in the future because of the $47 million guaranteed to him over the next three seasons. While Steve Cohen owns this team, money matters differently.
The Rockies haven’t shown much in terms of competing. With the Los Angeles Dodgers building up their super team, the National League Pennant winning Arizona Diamondbacks reloading, and two other teams in the NL West we shouldn’t sleep on, unloading Freeland now might be the best move the Rockies could make to free up salary and get a good return.
As with any Rockies pitcher, the statistics are often skewed. His career 112 ERA+ tells us the 4.39 ERA he has pitched to in seven seasons with Colorado is probably higher than it would be if he called Citi Field home.
Freeland is coming off of one of his worst seasons, a 6-14 performance with a 5.03 ERA in 29 starts. He’s a contact pitcher with a career strikeout rate of only 6.7 per 9. How he has managed to be as good as he has been with half his games at Coors Field is a mystery. His groundball percentage of 45.4% is only a little higher than the league at 42.9%.
We can slice and dice the numbers a million ways. Freeland is an intriguing trade target to contact the Rockies about at this year's trade deadline if the Mets are in need of a starter. For as long as he's on their roster and they aren't winning, he's someone other teams should keep an eye on.
When he'd be the best fit for the Mets: After the 2024 season when the Rockies lose another 100 games and he's fed up.