You have certainly read reports that the Mets would need to be “overwhelmed” to trade Bobby Parnell (who Detroit and Boston have interest in) but what you may not have read is that they need to be equally “overwhelmed” to trade the thirty five year old rental, Marlon Byrd.
Parnell is only 28 and looks to have shaped into a fairly reliable closer. He’s got two controlled years on his contract and he’s got lots of value. When the Mets say they’d need to be overwhelmed they actually have something of significant value. So if the Red Sox offer Jackie Bradley Jr. or the Tigers offer Avisail Garcia, the Mets could say, “Yeah… no thanks.” They can say this because trading Parnell does leave them with problems for 2014 and beyond and neither Bradley Jr. nor Garcia are slam dunks to succeed in the majors.
Now… if the Mets were to be offered Xander Bogaerts or Nick Castellanos things might be different. Those guys are superior prospects and passing on them to hold on to a valuable closer would be hard to do. Thus… they’d be “overwhelmed.”
The issue now, is that Byrd is not 28. Being 35 and playing the second-best baseball of his 11 MLB seasons doesn’t shout lasting value. Neither does the fact that at the end of 2013, Byrd could very well choose to sign with the Mets again… and you’d better believe there wouldn’t be draft pick compensation. So… what exactly do the Mets mean when they say, “We need to be overwhelmed.”?
Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh are the two franchises that seem the best match for Byrd. Both could use an outfielder who can hit with some power and replace the rotating squads of part-timers that they are rotating out there. Yet with a statement about the Mets not being that willing to trade Byrd, what are they expecting?
Do the Mets think that the Rays would part with an injured Hak Ju Lee? Or do they think they could nab multiple players in the ranks of Drew Vettleson, Mike Mahtook, Tim Beckham and Patrick Leonard? Frankly, anyone on that second list would be a boon to the Met farm system and could be a lasting part of the Met future… but is getting one of those players being “overwhelmed?”
Equally, the Mets would love the Pirates to trade Alen Hanson or Gregory Polanco for Byrd, but that would be CRAZY. It is probably a stretch to even name Josh Bell in the running for a trade of Byrd and he’s in the SAL! The Mets should be happy with getting Barrett Barnes, Alex Dickerson, Willy Garcia or Jin-De Jhang, but none of those names would scream “OVERWHELMED!”
I realize, that a team can’t say that they’re looking to trade one of their best offensive players for a song, but to make Byrd sound like he’s part of the Met future is laughable. The Met offense only has 4 players right now who factor into the team’s future: David Wright, Eric Young Jr., Daniel Murphy (Unless he’s traded) and Ike Davis/Josh Satin (Take your pick). Everyone else should be on the table.