Up is down, black is white is short is long and everything that you thought which was SO important, doesn’t matter.
These prophetic words were sung by Weird Al Yankovich in his Album, Bad Hair Day. The reality remains that with or without David Wright, the Mets are far from being a World Series competitor. That’s the goal, right? We’re not shooting for mid-season relevance… we’re actually trying to WIN a Championship… right?
Wright is averaging into a 20/20 hitter and in a mediocre Met lineup has managed to be productive in terms of Runs and RBIs. He’s even gotten his strikeouts under control. Sadly, the Mets are not a big market team (Prove me wrong Mr. Wilpon!). So now that David Wright’s contract reaches expiration, the Mets need to see what they can get for him.
That Begs Two Questions:
- 1. Who Needs A Star 3B?
- 2. Who Might This Team Trade?
Atlanta Braves – As strange as it seems that the Mets might be best off trading their “Marquee” player to the braves for prospects, we have to appreciate that Wright is going to be on a 1-year option so in a year he can choose to go wherever he desires anyway.
- Christian Bethancourt, C: He’s 21 and already playing in AA. That’s good. He has a strong showing in the AFL. That’s also good. He was hurt this August, but fracturing your hand is hardly as doom-ridden as muscle problems. His ETA would be 2014 and he’d be the #1 catcher in the Met system. He’s already considered the #4 catching prospect in Baseball.
- Joey Terdoslavich, 3B: Assuming the Braves plan to re-sign Wright long-term, the “Heir to Chipper” could see his way into a Met uniform. Terdoslavich was good in AA but bad in AAA which leads me to wonder if the player who will begin 2013 as a 25 year old is mostly Atlanta Brave hype.
- Edward Salcedo, 3B: Salcedo is Atlanta’s version of Wilmer Flores. He has his advantages (similar power and considerably more speed) and his disadvantages (less contact and considerably less discipline at the plate) vs. Flores but they are similar in that they both played SS and couldn’t cut it at the position.
- Nick Ahmed, SS: He’s 22 and only in advanced A but he does profile right now as a pretty solid short stop. Nothing phenomenal, but 30 SBs and a little power to go along with solid defense.
Cleveland Indians – The Indians have about 1.5 million players to play SS for them but more importantly they don’t really have a strong candidate to play 3rd in 2013. The Mets could come away with a couple good hitting prospects (at least 1 SS) if they trade David Wright to the Cleve.
- Francisco Lindor, SS: He was the Indian’s first round selection last year and he played this season in Class A ball. A switch hitter who projects to hold his position with solid hitting and speed is quite a lot, but he’s also Cleveland’s top prospect and seems like a poor fit for a David Wright rental.
- Dorssys Paulino, SS/3B: Pualino might be too big to hold onto his position but he hits well enough (or certainly projects to) to play at 3B as well. At 17, he’s a long way from the bigs but if the Mets are truly eyeing a full rebuilding of their franchise, it’s not bad to go for talent over everything.
- Tony Wolters, SS: The Indians have a LOT of depth at short. Their top 3 prospects are all short stops. Wolters is the farthest along in the system. He has some power and is a “smart” base-runner (which is code for not that fast). The expectation is for Wolters to become the Indian’s second baseman of the future.
- Ronny Rodriguez, SS: Here’s a clue, if the Mets trade with the Indians… they are getting a short stop. Rodriguez is the toolsiest hitter of the group with + power at the age of 19. He even has some speed. Why isn’t he ranked higher? He also has 88 Ks and 19 BBs in 126 games. For those familiar with Matt Den Dekker, these are modest numbers, but they aren’t good.
- Alex Monsalve, C: Monsalve began the year in Low-A and finished in High-A. You can see the drop off in his numbers but at 20, he’s still ahead of schedule for a catcher. He’s regarded well for his defensive tools and has the size and makeup to hit with some pop.
- Luigi Rodriguez, OF: Rodriguez is 19, a switch hitter and has power and speed. 11 HRs and 24 SBs in 117 games of High-A is impressive for a 19 year old. He strikes out a lot but again… he’s 19.
Miami Marlins – It’s not realistic to think that the Marlins would trade prospects for a David Wright rental. We KNOW, it would be a rental because the Marlins would inevitably either ride Wright to a World Series or trade him when the team reached the deadline. They are looking for a creative solution to slot in at 3B. Why not reunite Wright and Reyes in South Beach?
- Christian Yelich, OF: At 19 he played in the Florida State League and did pretty well for himself. Why would the Mets consider bringing in a lefty OF? Well… he projects as Carl Crawford-like. He’s got some power and plenty of speed and he actually has the contact and on-base skills to back it up. I can’t see the Marlins dishing their top prospect for a CLEAR rental.
- Zack Cox, 3B: A middling prospect by some accounts. Before 2012 he was regarded as a big power bat with batting titles in his future. I’m not one to assume a player is done-for after one rough season in AAA.
- Rob Brantly, C: Projects as Josh Thole with a tick more power and a much better arm. Brantly is close to “Major League Ready” and would be a nice asset to pick up.
New York Yankees – The Yankees have moved A-Rod to a DH position and don’t have a tailor made 3B waiting in the wings… unless you consider that the Yankees treat the rest of the MLB as their minor league system. Trading for Wright makes complete and total sense as they needed to sell a few more tee-shirts. Plus think of all the fans the Wilpons would directly lose by signing away their star player across town.
- Gary Sanchez, C: Not being pried away from the Yankees for any amount of Wright.
- Zoilo Almonte, OF: He’s got power and speed and is a switch hitter. He was in AA for 2012 which as a 23 year old is about right for his progress but leaves little room for Almonte to hit stumbling blocks.
Philadelphia Phillies – The Phillies are rebuilding. You can tell, because they are pushing their way into the playoffs. So imagine, if you are so bold, David Wright mashing 45 HRs a year in Philly. Imagine seeing Wright’s smug face on the scoreboard wearing red and white. Then realize that the Phillies farm system, even after trading for Halladay etc… is well stocked with talent. Now shake your fist, with me, at Steve Phillips and Jim Duquette.
- Tommy Joseph, C: He’s a powerful catcher who plays well enough behind the plate to stay there. He slugged .399 with a .715 OPS in AA at 21 and really only needs to improve his patience when hitting to round into a major-league ready player.
- Sebastian Valle, C: While Joseph is more highly regarded, I would bet that Valle would be harder to acquire. For one, he’s already in AAA. For another, he’s been catching the Phillies top pitching prospects for most of their pro careers. Not for nothing, but wouldn’t it be awesome to get the insider information this guy has?
- Roman Quinn, SS: He looks a lot like Jose Reyes. He’s mostly speed but he gets extra bases because of that speed. This led to a .408 SLG in the New York Penn league.
- Cody Asche, 3B: He’s got similar feel to David Wright. Not the power he showed early in his career, but that mix of speed and power that Wright has. He’s a lefty and he’s already played his way through AA. Could be a nice player to pair with Wilmer Flores at second.
This was no fun for me to write. I don’t want the Mets to trade David Wright. I want my favorite player to stay on the team for the rest of his pro baseball career. The entire purpose to this post, was a reality check. There aren’t a ton of teams who will be clamoring for Wright and while the Mets may not be poised to win NOW, are they capable of taking the P.R. blow of trading him (potentially to a rival)? It all disgusts me. Why can’t a New York baseball team manage to shell out $150 Million annually for the team?