The shortstop shuffle: Another look at guys on the Mets’ radar

Name

Age

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

HR

SB

Stephen Drew

31

.264

.329

.435

.764

16

7

Yunel Escobar

31

.278

.350

.386

.737

11

5

Asdrubal Cabrera

28

.273

.335

.413

.748

14

12

Elvis Andrus

25

.274

.339

.348

.688

4

35

Brad Miller*

24

.265

.318

.418

.737

17

11

Didi Gregorius*

24

.255

.330

.369

.699

10

0

Nick Franklin*

22

.225

.303

.382

.686

19

10

Chris Owings**

22

.291

.320

.441

.761

17

16

Ruben Tejada

24

.259

.323

.319

.642

1

6

* Based on less than a season of stats in MLB

** Based on minor league stats

HR and SB are projected totals for 162 Game Season

Those are the names we keep hearing as the options for the 2014 Mets and it leads me to a surprising conclusion.  I’ll see if other Met fans agree…

Stephen Drew – He’s too expensive.  I would like him and probably bat him at the front of the Met lineup (for lack of better options) but I can’t imagine the Mets will be willing to pay him.

Yunel Escobar – I believe that if this deal were possible, it would have happened.  I’d still be okay with adding Escobar and trade Ike Davis or Lucas Duda but I can’t see it happening.

Asdrubal Cabrera – The Indians say they won’t trade him.  I think they mean it.

Elvis Andrus – Texas is in a bad spot.  Andrus has a bad contract, they have cheap alternatives who might be better and they’d like to get the value for him.  I don’t think Texas could trade him if they wanted to.  It’s a bad situation.  Might see some of those prospects become available in the middle of the season but those guys won’t come cheap.

Brad Miller – It seems that Miller is the player that the Mariners would prefer to keep.  I can’t blame them based on the numbers, but the pedigree favors Franklin.

Didi Gregorius – I’m not sold that he’d actually be an upgrade.  He has room to grow but he looks a lot like a younger Tejada.

Nick Franklin – I’ve heard the rumors and seen the idea floated but I never really looked at Franklin as an option.  That .225 AVG from 2013 isn’t exactly screaming, “I’m a future star!” however the other stats are interesting.  That .303 OBP really points to pretty good pitch selection and his SLG and projected HRs indicate that he could be a star.  I’d say he’s my top target after this review.

Chris OwingsChris Owings – We can’t extrapolate much from his MLB numbers.  So we need to judge his five season in the minors.  What is promising is that his final year (the one at the highest level) saw the peak of his numbers.  He has a fair amount of risk and I’d bet that Arizona is too concerned that he’d live up to his potential to trade him.

Ruben Tejada – Is he that bad?  No…  Frankly with the current Met roster he’s hitting leadoff… which isn’t ideal, but can anyone name a better candidate?  It would not be the end of the world for Tejada to start but the team needs to improve upon his (or Juan Lagares’) output if they plan on reaching the post season.

30 comments for “The shortstop shuffle: Another look at guys on the Mets’ radar

  1. Julian McCarthy
    December 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

    In my personal opinion, Miller, Franklin, and Owings are probably the best options due to their youth and double rates.

    • Herb
      December 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      My first choice is definitely Miller. From what I am hearing, the Mariners would actually prefer to keep Franklin, which makes perfect sense, since he was somewhat more highly regarded going into 2013, and he is a year and a half younger than Miller.

      Some may think it heresy, but I have suggested a Lagares for Miller trade. Based on Alderson’s comments in the last week, I believe he wants Eric Young in the everyday lineup, playing either in LF or 2B. If Murphy is still with the team in spring training, our regular outfield is Young-Young-Granderson, with Lagares the odd man out. That being the case, he’d be an excellent acquisition for Seattle in exchange for either Miller or Franklin.

  2. Chris F
    December 14, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I’m taking a different route to the matter at shortstop.

    Tejada just disappears if 2B is stronger, especially a 2B who is a bit on the outs, but has great range and can bat pretty much anywhere. I’m talking about Brandon Phillips. We trade Murph and and out fielder of their choice (Ey, CY, JL or anyone else) and get Datdude BP in return. He’s owed about 50M$ and is controllable through 17. We get a star ready for NYC who is still young enough to matter, a great bat, a difference maker, and one of the best middle infielders around. Tejada sandwiched in between BP and #5 will have less ground to cover and be surrounded by greatness on both sides of the ball. The reds get a relatively cheap, competent 2B that hits and the outfielder of their choice, none of which are bad options.

    • Jerry Grote
      December 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

      wow. Even if Phillips ridiculous contract wasn’t an obstacle enough, I wouldn’t trade Daniel Murphy for Phillips straight up, much less sweeten it with the likes of Lagares.

      Wrong on too many levels. Phillips is in serious decline, Murphy is simply a steady, valuable player. Phillips is expensive, Murphy cheap. Even if you are right and Phillips is valuable player (which I don’t believe), then you are trading away a position of strength to take on another player at the same position – *and* weakening our defense in the outfield.

      I don’t know if you thought that one through Chris but there’s a reason everyone in the major leagues hasn’t picked up Phillips.

      • Chris F
        December 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

        Yeah you’re right. I guess I’m aggravated by reports of lagares not likely breaking camp with the big club.

    • Joe
      December 14, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      Well thank god you’re not the gm

  3. Jerry Grote
    December 14, 2013 at 10:26 am

    If you are telling me that you want to stay with Tejada because he makes the best leadoff man … then I have a gripe to pick with you.

    Daniel Murphy’s lifetime performance leading off an inning? 309/360/531 over 458 PA.

    But beyond alternatives – I mean, go out into the world and find a .340 OBP guy, or pick one off your roster – Tejada has a lifetime OBP of 323 in the majors and its not like he was great in the minors either (338).

    He couples that with a below average arm and defense that until last year was only passable … and last year it became horrific.

    He’s cheap, and you don’t have to surrender talent to get him. That’s what he has going for him. I’d package him, Davis, Flores and Montero in a minute to get the likes of a Profar (not listed in your group), an Owings, a Miller, a Franklin. But as much as Sandy talks a good game about trading for a SS, I don’t see anyone giving up a worthwhile alternative.

    So I think we’ll have to hope the fitness routine brings us back a buff, .400 slugging specimen with a rocket arm and dazzling speed at SS.

  4. Alex
    December 14, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I don’t think a .303 obp screams “good pitch selection”. I do like Nick Franklin though.

    • Les Gomez
      December 14, 2013 at 10:56 am

      I agree. Pitchers definitely figured him out after a good start in 2013, but I do believe Franklin has the highest upside. Gregorius would be my second choice.

    • Name
      December 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      I think what David was trying to show was his good walk rate, 10.2% (which is almost as much as Wright walks) by comparing his OBP(.303) with his AVG(.225)

  5. Jerry Grote
    December 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Not listed: Dee Gordon.

    Gordon might not be on *our* shopping lists, but he might be on Sandy’s.
    * first, only one team asked for Murphy, and that team asked about him for a corner spot. Juan Uribe has not signed, and the Dodgers are thinking of putting Young there. That screams desperation.
    * second, when he came up Gordon was actually quite effective as a leadoff hitter. Of course he offers blinding speed and it looks like the Dodgers are keeping Hanley Ramirez at SS.
    * third, the Dodgers can offer secondary talent that the Mets would love; Joc Pederson, Chad Billingsley, Matt Magill or Stephen Fife.

    Again, Gordon is not what I’d consider a quality alternative to Flores. But the Dodgers have a surplus of SS, a dearth of 3B, one of the deepest rotations and bullpens in baseball and Gordon *might* be considered a speedy, lead off hitter.

    • Jerry Grote
      December 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Of course, such a trade might also free up (especially in combination with a Davis trade) enough space for the Mets to sneak up and sign someone like … Choo. Or Morales. Or Jimenez.

      This is the sort of deal that makes a team; trading from strength, taking a risk on an underappreciated player, and having that team add in the prospect of your dreams all while clearing space for a signing.

      • Name
        December 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm

        Can Gordon actually play SS? I don’t remember seeing him play so i can’t comment, but looking at the UZR and defensive metrics, they really don’t like him. His UZR is in the same ballpark as Duda in LF. Maybe we can get a Dodger fan or someone who has watched him to enlighten us.

    • Herb
      December 14, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      If Uribe signs somewhere else, Murphy for Gordon and Pederson becomes a possibility. I have the feeling, though, that the Dodgers are laying back hoping that they can still sign Uribe.

      Why are you talking about Gordon as an alternative to Flores? Flores would be neither our SS nor our leadoff hitter.

  6. Jerry Grote
    December 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

    *quality alternative to TEJADA* not Flores.

  7. Jim OMalley
    December 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Forget Tejada … The Mets should be thinking elsewhere. If we don’t acquire a shortstop; think Tovar.

  8. Scott Ferguson
    December 14, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Drew, Owings or Tejada. Mets don’t like Cabrera and with the Loney signing, the Mets have nothing Tampa wants.
    I don’t think Gregorious is necessarily any better than Tejada or Tovar, so if I’m trading with Arizona, I’m going for Owings.
    Andrus will cost too much and the Mets don’t match well on a trade with Texas, but I’d take him if he didn’t cost top prospects.
    Miller doesn’t seem to be available.
    Franklin is interesting, but he’s better at second and the Mets don’t match well in a straight deal with Seattle.

  9. Metsense
    December 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    “It would not be the end of the world for Tejada to start but the team needs to improve upon his (or Juan Lagares’) output if they plan on reaching the post season.” David, I couldn’t agree more.
    The Colon signing probably took the Mets out of the $10M+ annual salary shortstop market. If that is the case then Miller, Owings, Franklin and Gregorious in that order. Gregorious is included because of a higher OBP and homerun power than Tejada. All four are young and cost controlled. All four will probably cost the Mets Montero and a secondary prospect. Seatle (maybe an outfielder) and Arizona don’t need any major leaguers that are on the Met roster so they don’t have any urgency to trade.
    The only other direction is Jed Lowrie of Oakland who you failed to include. Couldn’t hurt to kick the tires there.(and justprobably end up with a sore foot).

    • Metsense
      December 14, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      I was a big Tejada fan in 2012. Thought he had a future. Statistically 2013 was Tejada’s downfall and even if he gets back to 2011 numbers it isn’t enough because Lagares is now on the team and so is EY and there can only be one of these type players with an OPS of 650 and no double digit HR power in the starting lineup if the Mets want to contend. Tejada is the least talented of the three. Lagares has a great glove and EY is a great base runner. Tejada is ?
      Tejada is the one who should to be replaced.

  10. Sean Flattery
    December 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    I think Tejada will end up playing SS this year, which I’m Ok with. He was terrific in 2012, I willing to put hope into a bounceback year. He’s still young, and has shown he can be an asset when healthy. I ‘d like to see his defense improve, he looked really slow last year.

    Jordy Mercer is another name. Pirates just re-signed Barmes and have no first baseman

    • Name
      December 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      The Pirates are no way going to trade Mercer so Barmes can be the starting SS… that would be beyond idiotic. They have Gaby Sanchez at 1st base and just non-tendered Garret Jones who had the same profile as Davis so I highly doubt they want him unless we were giving Davis away for free(which at this point we might have to)

      • Sean Flattery
        December 14, 2013 at 5:37 pm

        I think you are over valuing Mercer. He’s below-average fielder and has a four month resume. Gaby Sanchez?? I’ll roll the dice with Ike. Also, Garrett Jones never hit 30 HRS

        • Name
          December 14, 2013 at 6:52 pm

          When did i say my opinion on Mercer’s value? All i stated was that Mercer is better than Barmes. Also, defensive metrics take a while to stabilize; he was negative this year but it was only over ~60 games.
          While he doesn’t have as much power as Ike, he’s still in the profile (lefty with power) as Garret Jones, who hit 27 HR’s in 2012.

          • Sean Flattery
            December 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

            I pay no mind to metrics, Mercer is not very sure handed and made a bunch of errors. If I was Pittsburgh, I’d make that trade in a heartbeat, it will be up to Sandy to pull the trigger. As of right now, Russell Martin is their #5 hitter

  11. December 14, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    I would be fine with the previous version of Tejada, but what are the chances of that happening? If one of these better SS options actually are available via trade, I would certainly hope Alderson is seriously considering them. This is potentially where your pitching depth (prospect-wise) comes into play.

  12. December 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Dodgers signed Uribe 2 years. I think you could get Gordon for a bit piece.
    DeGrom, not a big prospect. KC was interested in him.

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

      deGrom is worth much more than Dee Gordon at this point.

      He profiles as high as a #3 pitcher with flashes of #2 stuff.

  13. Elster4president
    December 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    TRADE Thor, Flores, Mazzoni, Plewicki and Nimmo for Goldshmidt, Cahill and Owings….Get it done

  14. Name
    December 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Looks like Sandy fell asleep on the job again. D-backs were willing to deal a prospect for a closer and traded Matt Davidson for closer Addison Reed. Makes me believe that they would have offered Owings for Parnell and maybe a throw in of Tejada/Tovar or some low level prospect.

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