August 4, 2022, was the day Tyler Naquin hit two home runs for the New York Mets to help defeat the Atlanta Braves 6-4. It looked like possibly the best and sneakiest deal the team made at the trade deadline.
Unfortunately, it was the highlight of Naquin’s time with the Mets. He would go on to bat .203/.246/.390 for the team after a .246/.305/.444 performance with his previous club, the Cincinnati Reds.
In such a short sample, it’s hard to murder this trade. Naquin was, after all, an upgrade over Travis Jankowski. The fact that he didn’t make the postseason roster said a lot about how the front office felt. In the not too distant future, they might feel worse.
The Mets trade for Tyler Naquin has early shades of the Jake Marisnick deal
Remember Jake Marisnick’s time with the Mets in 2020? Neither does anyone else. He was brought in to be something similar to Naquin. The season was shortened due to the pandemic and Marisnick barely saw the field due to some injuries.
When the Mets first landed him, it came via trade with the Houston Astros. It’s a deal that is already aging poorly.
You already know by now how Blake Taylor became a reliable reliever for the Astros—at least for a little while. What you may not have noticed—and that’s okay because I didn’t realize it until now either—is that the other guy they gave up had an awesome year in Single-A. Kenedy Corona hit 19 home runs and batted .278/.362/.495 on the farm this past season. Although hardly a top prospect, he’s one of those hidden gems that can come back to haunt us.
The Naquin deal has a similar outcome already. Jose Acuna (the Mets can never get the right guy with this last name) continued a strong season for the Reds on the farm, posting a 3.16 ERA in 31.1 innings. Hector Rodriguez, the other player the Mets traded for Naquin and Phillip Diehl, batted .289 in 47 trips to the plate in Single-A for them.
Neither prospect has completely lit the world on fire. A year from now, they could be looking to change careers already. Each was a younger minor leaguer the Mets could spare for the chance to improve their roster for a stretch run. We’re not crying about it yet. We just feel some déjà vu.
As Drew Koch of Blog Red Machine mentions, it's almost certainly a win for Cincinnati regardless of what happens with the players they acquired.