Could Mets buy and sell at the same time?

MLB Trade Rumors (By way of FanGraphs) has come out with some lists of those players most likely to be traded at the deadline.  Within the top 30 of each category the Mets have a total of 8 players listed as being “Likely to be traded.”  Yet you’ve probably heard Sandy Alderson telling people that the Mets will be buyers… so who do you believe?

The answer is… both.  The Mets will Sell some of their players who aren’t likely to help in 2014 and beyond and they will Buy some players who will.  It isn’t a bad strategy, assuming Alderson doesn’t snooze on Selling those he should and that he’s careful who he Buys.


Daniel Murphy: Murphy sports a WAR of 1.5 and has played passable defense at second base for long enough to silence doubters.  He can also play first and third and teams with deficiencies in any of those departments will consider him.  He’s still relatively cheap (Hitting Arb for the second time) and under team control until 2015.  All of this adds up to the Mets most valuable trade chip.  Now… Wilmer Flores has trade value too and would be more attractive to a team in “Sell Mode” but what I’m hearing and reading suggests that Murphy is the more likely player to be traded.

Marlon Byrd: This season’s Scott Hairston.  I was annoyed when Alderson missed the boat on trading Hairston last season and I will be mad if he does the same with Byrd.  The Mets need to be giving Lagares, Puello etc… a chance to play in the majors as they evaluate their plans for the future and the free agent signing period this winter.  Byrd has a WAR of 1.2 and has been playing almost every day.  Most teams would want him on their bench and he would not get the Mets nearly as much as Murphy but the reasons to trade him outweigh the reasons to keep him.

John Buck: Their hopes of Buck keeping on his early pace and netting them a large haul are gone, but Buck still has value to teams looking to get some power and experience behind the plate.  Buck still projects as a better hitter than a number of other starting catchers and would have some value but we’re talking about getting a prospect with obvious flaws or one very far from the majors.

Shaun Marcum: Believe it or not, but Marcum has a WAR of 1.3 despite having no wins on the season.  He’s also a veteran that teams can project and an affordable acquisition.  I think there are a few teams who would be happy to add Mr. Marcum to their rotations but he’s clearly not going to be netting us someone like Zack Wheeler (as Carlos Beltran did).  I would expect the Mets to find teams who want Marcum, the question is finding something the Mets want in return that the other team is willing to part with.

Carlos Torres: Let’s not get carried away by his short audition.  Torres is a relief pitcher who has looked good in a very short look at the majors this season.  The Mets would be foolish not to trade him if a team wanted to catch some lightning in a bottle.

LaTroy Hawkins: Hawkins is a 100% trade candidate.  He’s a veteran who is used to being an “Arm For Hire” and he’s proven that he can help teams late in the season.  He’s not a major trade chip but he’s a guy that multiple teams might want.

David Aardsma: Aardsma is not the closer he was for Seattle and he’s also not the player that the Yankees let go for nothing.  He’s healthy and pitching well enough for any team in the playoff hunt.

Brandon Lyon: He isn’t a “sexy” name.  He’s a guy who can survive as a reliever and get you through middle innings.  I wouldn’t confuse Lyon with a high-leverage relief pitcher but I would say that teams looking for middle innings should come looking.

Honorable Mentions: Omar Quintanilla, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis


Nate Schierholtz: At 29 and looking at his final year of arbitration, Schierholtz is affordable… for now.  Alderson will have to be cautioned that this season is astronomically ahead of where Schierholtz usually hits and that he couldn’t expect the good times to continue, but he’s not an unthinkable option either.  The Cubs will be looking for pitching this deadline and the Mets have it, but I don’t think the Mets should go crazy for a player who is slugging over 100 points above his career average.

Norichika Aoki: Will be 32 in 2014 but he also seems like a good fit for a team looking to build their outfield from nothing.  He has a little power and a little speed and he should hit in the vicinity of .300.  None of these things are bad.  The $1.5 Mil option for 2014 is also not bad as the Mets would still have plenty of money to spend left over.  The question is  “How much would Milwaukee want?”  That answer may be too high.

Giancarlo Stanton: You me and my Grandfather (the one who doesn’t follow baseball) knows that the Mets (and 28 other baseball clubs) would be desperate to add Stanton to their lineup.  The Marlins are awful to their fans, but they aren’t stupid enough not to allow the bidding frenzy.  I’d be willing to package any prospects not named Zack Wheeler or Travis d’Arnaud.  I’ve spoken to people who would gladly trade even those vaunted prospects.  Is a package of Noah Syndergaard, Wilmer Flores, Rafael Montero, Gavin Cecchini and Cory Mazzoni worth a player like Stanton?  I would say, “EASILY!” I think the Marlins would say, “That’s not even close.”

Danny Espinosa: Espinosa is playing SS in AAA and that might tell you that the struggling infielder is bound for a bench role on the Nationals but it might also tell you that the Nats are considering trading him.  It’s easy to forget that Espinosa is only 26 and is under team control through 2016.  The Nationals are looking for pitching help and the Mets could easily offer Marcum and relievers like Hawkins and Lyon, but are the Nationals really willing to sell low on a guy having an awful season?  Are the Mets willing to take a risk on Espinosa rebounding?  If he can play short stop he can certainly out hit Ruben Tejada.

30 comments for “Could Mets buy and sell at the same time?

  1. Jerry Grote
    June 26, 2013 at 11:24 am

    sells … I don’t know enough about contract situations, but I’m inclined to keep Torres. His success isn’t really “lightning in a bottle” … its sustained over six or seven appearances. Looks like something turned on for him.

    Aardsma I would make every effort to sign to a long term deal and *right now*. Between these two and Parnell, you could have the makings of 60% of a great bullpen.

    There is no name on the current squad that does not start with David or Matt (no I didn’t miss a name) that I would be inclined to keep. If it seems odd that I am more willing to keep David Aardsma than Zack Wheeler, it’s because I think you can get something huge for Wheeler and we’d be selling high. Aardsma is definitely buying low.

    Bottom line? The shake up for this team that started with adding EY, OQ, and JLagares and subtracting the likes of Tejada, Davis and Cowgill needs to continue.

    • June 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

      7 appearances is grand but it IS still “lightning in a bottle.”

      Is it more important to pay for Hit-or-Miss RPs or actual hitting?

      Davis will be back shortly.

      • Jerry Grote
        June 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

        My guess is that Torres has changed here.

        Because of Torres potential as a heavily used RP, he’s not just any guy. He could absorb as many as 90-120 IP out of the bullpen and the advantage to a presumably young staff is incalculable.

        I’d guess you could have Torres right now, for a three year deal at $10MM and probably significantly less. An established hitter is going to cost that *per year* (Quentin) or $16MM (Choo). Is a hitter like Choo “worth” literally 500% more than the effective, 100 IP of a good middle reliever? Maybe, but only because there is a limited number of hitters.

        • June 26, 2013 at 11:59 am

          I would not offer Torres more than $2 Mil per year… if that. Look at his 2012 season.

          He’s 30 years old and he’s still inside his arbitration years. If you want to keep him… just keep him.

          The Mets have $45 Mil MAX for 2014 and spending money locking up someone who MIGHT be a good middle reliever is a significant waste of resources.

          • Jerry Grote
            June 26, 2013 at 12:39 pm

            As I stated, “significantly less”. To me, his upside lies north of Luke Gregerson or Jessie Crain, because he has the capacity to pitch 2-3 innings … but he’s already shown the capacity to go in short intervals.

            If I’m right, this is a value move and to me, allocating an additional $1MM of the $45MM is not taking on a huge risk to securing 25% of your bullpen innings.

            Of course only time will tell if I’m right or you are, because he needs to continue to be effective. Bottom line? He is not a guy I’m inclined to let go, just like was inclined to keep Juan Lagares in CF.

            • Name
              June 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

              Let’s be rational here. This guy had a 5.96 ERA before coming to the Mets and has a mere 7 innings pitched for the Mets this season and you projecting him for 100 innings a season for the next 3 years?
              Right now i wouldn’t even put money on him making a team out of Spring Training next season.

              • June 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm


              • Jerry Grote
                June 26, 2013 at 1:47 pm

                You can’t just walk away from three straight killer performances where he was a starter, doing things your vaunted Wheeler and Montero can’t do.

                This is NOT the same pitcher that threw to a nearly 6 ERA before this. And if you have a starter that can go to the bullpen, and both throw on short basis and go multiple innings, you have a rare bird.

                Tell you what. I’ll take the opposite side of your bet all day long and twice on Sunday. You just don’t turn on a light like that. It’s not part of baseball, not at 30, unless you’ve had a paradigm change. See: Dickey, Robert Allen.

                The change is more subtle, but you have to respect that he is a different pitcher.

                • June 26, 2013 at 9:05 pm

                  Dickey became a knuckleballer and redeveloped himself throughout his 30′s. Somehow I don’t think Aardsma developed a unique pitch that has allowed him to restart his development.

        • June 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          Since the turn of the century, only six pitchers have amassed 100 relief innings in a season. Of those six, only one pitcher did it while averaging two innings per game and that was knuckleball pitcher Steve Sparks, who in 51 games threw 107 IP.

          The last non-knuckleball reliever to throw 90+ innings in a season and average 2.0+ innings per game was John Doherty in 1995, who in 48 games threw 113 IP. Doherty appeared in three games in the majors the following season and his career was over.

          I think the chance that a reliever will throw 90 innings while being a consistent 2-3 inning guy in this age are just about zero.

          Since 1970, only 19 pitchers for the Mets have thrown 90+ innings out of the bullpen. Not one of them averaged two innings per appearance.

          The Mets haven’t had a pitcher reach 80 IP since Aaron Heilman appeared in 81 games and threw 86 IP in 2007.

          I guess we should never say never, but it would take a complete reversal of recent history (especially Mets history) for a RP to amass a bunch of innings and more than once in ahwile – never mind averaging – going two innings at a time.

  2. za
    June 26, 2013 at 11:27 am


  3. Name
    June 26, 2013 at 11:37 am

    If the Mets are so intent on having 2 lefties in the bullpen, I would trade for any decent lefty so we can DFA Rice and Carson. I simply cannot stand those 2 anymore.

    • June 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

      You will have Edgin and Leathersich… do not fear… or fear… if fear is what you’d prefer.

    • za
      June 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

      Why DFA Rice? Lefties are batting .178 against him. He’s done fine in his role as long as his role has been respected.

  4. Jerry Grote
    June 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Red Sox have a surplus of SS, with Xander Bogaerts and Julio Iglesias.

    These are the times that can make the future of a team. Xander hasn’t actually lit it up since getting to Pawtucket. Would you give up the relief pitcher the Sox want – Parnell – to get your SS of the future?

    (granted, Sandy talked about Parnell not being available)

    • June 26, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      YES! In a heartbeat!

    • Chris F
      June 26, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      Im in too. 100%. Parnell is completely tradeable.

  5. Metsense
    June 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    If I was a contender, I would be looking for a difference maker. The only difference maker on the Mets would be Parnell.If a team needs a closer they may just give you one of their top 3 almost ready prospects and not let an opportunity for a World Series ring pass them by. Trading Parnell for a prospect makes me uncomfortble.
    I like all your buying players as they are all an upgrade and maybe the Mets should monitor the status and decide if they should jump in.
    Selling wise at the break, leaves you trading Murphy because a contending team doesn’t want a rookie.I would wait for a winter trade and let Flores grow on the farm for now.
    Maybe Duda or Davis now because there is only one 1B (but Duda is hurt).
    If Byrd could bring in a prospect as good as Puello sure but the Mets don’t need minor league roster fill. I think minor league roster fill is all you would be getting if you traded one of the relief pitchers. Why bother.
    Maybe Marcum brings you a decent prospect because of his pedigree.
    The current squad looks more suited to be traders this winter instead.

    • brian
      June 27, 2013 at 8:26 am

      I agree in trading Parnell. He would bring back the best hitting, young outfielder. He has the most value on the Mets. If we do not get a hitter that can add RBI’s to our lineup we have no use for a good closer.

  6. June 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    It’s an odd situation, to be sure. Selling because you’re currently terrible but close enough to being good that you can move pieces to improve longer term is interesting.

    I don’t know that I’d bother trading Buck. It seems he’s been great for the young pitchers and I don’t think he’d even get a return that makes it worth watching Recker start until d’Arnaud is ready. Then again, might be interesting to see Centeno or Pena in the interim.

  7. AJ
    June 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    I think some people on this site have Duquette’s Syndrome, which is known to flare up at this time of year. I hope the guys in the front office don’t catch it!

  8. eric
    June 26, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Xander Bogaerts for Bobby Parnell…. wow….. THAT is a serious Dream!!!!!!

    • June 27, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Agreed, not in a million years

    • June 27, 2013 at 9:31 am

      Yeah. The days of the “Jeff-Bagwell-for-Larry-Andersen” Sox are long gone…

      • Jerry Grote
        June 27, 2013 at 9:50 am

        LOL. Really?? Go to bb-r and see: BAILEY, ANDREW. They gave up an incredibly promising OF that more than a few Mets fans would have loved to put in RF for a closer.

        This is the same team that sold low on Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett.

        The same team that at one point sold Hanley Ramirez FOR Josh Beckett.

        Put nothing past the Sox and their desire to have a flag waving at Fenway.

        • June 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

          I can’t see the Sox trading away a Top 20 Overall prospect who could stick at SS and has the potential to be a Star with his bat for a closer.

          Could the Mets swing a deal for him? Maybe… but not just for Parnell, the Sox would need more reasons to make the deal.

          NOW… if they need a 3B and consider Murphy an option or need a starting pitcher and consider Niese then we could talk a multi-player deal… sure.

          • eraff
            June 27, 2013 at 10:44 am

            Parnell? Cechinni’s Brother Garin PLUS…….

            • June 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

              Sox won’t trade Cecchini and Bogaerts but we could look at powerful OF Bryce Brentz

  9. Jerry Grote
    June 27, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Taking a look around, there are three teams in the playoffs need to build up their bullpen; for Boston and Detroit, adding him is really the final piece in a really, really good team. Cleveland … they are on the outside looking in. I suppose TBR could still think of themselves as in the race, but every day they are closer to being out.

    With Lagares playing like he is, I’d only be interested in speaking to Detroit if they were looking at moving Nick Castellanos … and I doubt they’d give him up when their #2 prospect is a closer. I don’t think there’s a thing in Cleveland that moves Parnell. I mean, unless they get loony and give up Lindor.

    Pretty sure, if the Mets are going to move Parnell, it’s going to have to be to Boston.

  10. eraff
    June 27, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Parnell…Byrd….Marcum—— Murphy?…. these are guys who help you compete and win NOW—-and they’ve been so putrid prior to the last 10 days that it makes for a difficult decision to do one last RELOAD—– the hope is that they would trade some vets for prospects and maybe trade a prospect or two for a good, useable, durable, OF Bat.

    This is the time for this FO to step up and ANSWER…it’s a big opportunity.

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