Early this morning news came down that the Mets and David Wright agreed on a contract extension. That’s good news in that the Mets can cross that off the “to do” list and move on to other matters. With the Winter Meetings right around the corner, hopefully that means Sandy Alderson can look to address the outfield problem, either by trade or free agent signing.
The old adage is that you can never have too much pitching. While the Mets do not have “too much,” they have more depth in pitching, specifically starting pitching, than anywhere else on the roster, both in the majors and the minors. Assuming Dillon Gee and Johan Santana come back healthy, the Mets have their five-man rotation set.
Recently, David Groveman did a post here where he laid out what levels he thought that Mets prospects would begin the year. He may have cheated a little bit, assigning six starters to each full-season league. So he found a home for 24 SP and had to leave out Yohan Almonte, Marcos Camarena, Angel Cuan, Gonzalez Germen, Jeremy Hefner, Julian Hilario, Chase Huchingson, Dylan Owen and Armando Rodriguez.
With the exception of Hefner, none of these guys may end up making a start in the majors. But the fact that Groveman could leave out nine guys who made a significant number of starts last year – after squeezing 24 pitchers onto full-season rosters – speaks to the depth of starting pitching that the system has.
He had Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia as starters in Triple-A but either or both of those could be relievers. He also had Chris Schwinden and Mark Cohoon in the Las Vegas rotation, but both of those guys could be lost in the Rule 5 Draft. The point is there’s still a lot of uncertainty, even before we get to the notion that the Mets could trade SP – either in the majors or minors – for hitting help.
We’ve heard rumors that R.A. Dickey and Jonathon Niese are potentially available in a trade. I think it’s a reasonable assumption that because the Mets re-signed Wright that they might be more willing to move Dickey now, not fearing the backlash from the fans if they parted ways with their two biggest stars from a season ago.
Yet trade options are not limited to just the major league club. It’s quite possible the Mets do a trade where they throw in a minor league pitcher, too. Key 2011 Draft picks Michael Fulmer, Cory Mazzoni and Logan Verrett have been in the organization for more than a year now and are eligible to be included in any deal. Perhaps another club would want to take a flyer on lefty Darin Gorski.
Since the end of the 2011 season, I thought Alderson needed to participate in the trade market to better reorganize the talent in the organization. With two full seasons in the GM seat under his belt now, plus the Wright extension finally taken care of, expect Alderson to make a big move at the upcoming Winter Meetings. And expect the Mets to part ways with at least one prominent starting pitcher.