I’m like the guy at your family’s holiday functions that brags about the one good thing he did in the past 15 years. So be prepared for me to remind you that I called this eight days before it actually happened:
I know. It’s annoying. Notice that I don’t remind you of all the misses I had. But yes, I completely called the Jon Niese for Neil Walker trade. Like four touchdowns in a game for Polk High, only instead of having my hand down my pants, I’m in my mother’s basement bragging about it. (That’s a blogger joke, heh heh.) But fear not, because with the CBA in place and the Winter Meetings back on, it’s time to speculate on what the Mets might/should do at these meetings and beyond … until April.
It would be easy to say that the Mets have done their heavy lifting, like the rest of the media is speculating. Just start putting together lineups and such. It happens every year, right? Well screw that. So I’ll take a couple of shots at recreating the magic and predict some wild and unexpected Mets moves, rate their actual chances, then you all can laugh at me. Here we go:
Curtis Granderson and Gabriel Ynoa to the Chicago White Sox for David Robertson
The Chicago Cubs are the World Series Champions, and the White Sox are a dead carcass that other teams will pick at. The Mets should try to take advantage of this. If there’s indeed more interest in Granderson than Jay Bruce, let’s test that theory. Granderson can slot in as a DH against righties and a part time right fielder to let Avisail Garcia get a breather. He’s also a Chicago native that will bring some good will towards the White Sox during this time of Cubs super dominance. And more importantly, his contract expires after this year, saving the White Sox one year and $10 million in salary. And Ynoa is a spice that could compete for their rotation once they trade Chris Sale.
For the Mets, he’ll help a Mets bullpen along before and after Jeurys Familia’s likely suspension. His first season in Chicago was excellent, but he fell off in 2016 mainly because his walk rate skyrocketed. Remember when Addison Reed wasn’t with the Mets and he stunk? When he came to the Mets his walk rate dropped from 3.1 in 2015 to 1.5 in 2016. I don’t know what voodoo the Mets pitching coaches did with him, but if they can do the same thing with Robertson, he can be an excellent bounce back candidate and help the Mets with their greatest current need. And you know he can handle New York … he replaced Mariano Rivera and wasn’t Ed Whitsoned out of town. Best case scenario: Robertson becomes Flushing’s Andrew Miller and gets his WHIP back below 1.00.
I put the chances at a David Robertson deal in some shape or form at: 8
Matt Harvey, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares and Desmond Lindsay for George Springer and Evan Gattis
Let’s get crazy. I’m cheating a bit because I’m stealing this from Joel Sherman’s fantasy piece where he suggested some trades as well. But I’m going to take out the part where Zack Wheeler goes and Luke Gregerson comes back, and go insane from there.
This fantasy draft, in my alternate universe, contingent on the Astros losing out on the Chris Sale sweepstakes, and still in the market for a pitcher. I don’t know why they would trade George Springer, but his name has been popping up in rumors, so let’s try it. Why not. The Astros would have to be willing to take a leap here and bank on Harvey and Lagares being fully healthy. But if they are, when why not offer these four up for Springer, who can slide into CF and provide some protection, and Gattis, who upgrades the offense at catcher significantly with Rene Rivera locked in to be the backup/Syndergaard’s caddie. The Astros get the consolation prize at ace pitcher that they need, and even out their lineup with Jay Bruce instead of Gattis at DH. They also get Lagares and an outfield prospect to make them feel better about losing Springer.
Best part about this trade and the Granderson trade would be opening up RF for Michael Conforto while getting Springer and not leaving your outfield completely open. The Mets have to find out about Conforto for beyond 2017, when they might lose Duda and Walker and have rookies manning their positions. If Conforto goes back to being an exclamation point, then you keep him. If he remains a question mark, you go from there at next year’s winter meetings.
(Editor’s note: I know nobody wants to trade any of the pitchers. But the Mets won’t pay them all. They can’t pay them all. This would be an opportunity to provide some balance to their team and have a chance at keeping everybody. If this wasn’t fantasy land, it would be the move to make.)
Will the Mets trade with the Astros? If they get Chris Sale, this is a 0 chance. If they lose Sale, maybe an alternate version of this trade has a 3 in 10 chance of happening. If the Astros did take this seriously, I bet they would ask for Steven Matz instead of Harvey.
Hansel Robles for Ezequiel Carrera
Well after I put a blowtorch to the outfield, the Mets will need some depth there. With David Robertson in the fold, there’s no need for Robles. And once the Blue Jays get that power hitter they’re desperate for, they won’t need Carrera anymore.
Chances of this happening? Look, I’m on my third beer at this point so I don’t know if I believe any of this anymore. But a lineup of Reyes, Springer, Cespedes, Walker, Cabrera, Gattis, Conforto, Duda, and pitcher is a lineup that I’ll take to the house this year. And it’ll make the transition to guys like Gavin Cecchini, Amed Rosario, and Dominic Smith a little bit easier. But mostly, this was just an exercise to remind myself and all of you that I’m not qualified to be a general manager of anything. But remember that I was laughed at for suggesting trading Lastings Milledge for Mark Buehrle and it would have turned out to be the steal of the century. And if God forbid I get any of the above trades right, you’ll never hear the end of it.
Enjoy the winter meetings.