When the Cubs acquired Addison Russell from the A’s in a trade earlier this month, it was clear that both Starlin Castro and Javier Baez would be available in a trade. Earlier this week, in a post for ESPN NY, Adam Rubin reported that an industry source has predicted that the Mets could end up with Cubs super prospect Javier Baez.
Baez would be a great get for the Mets for many reasons. He’s young, he plays a position of need, and his ceiling is that of a high power/average guy. But when trying to acquire a top 5 prospect like Baez, it comes with a hefty price and Baez is no different.
The Mets should make a play for Javier Baez before the July 31st non-wavier trade deadline. And they should part with one of their pitchers in order to do so. The Cubs have built up a prospect system that they are going to cash in on soon. But they are missing some pieces. Those pieces are pitching and catching.
If the Mets want to get a top bat or a top hitting prospect, it’s going to come at the expense at one of their young, under control pitchers. It’s obvious that the Mets aren’t moving Matt Harvey and it seems likely that Zack Wheeler is here to stay.
Syndergaard is only going to be moved for a guy like Giancarlo Stanton, which isn’t happening. The Mets now have four pitchers that can build a package around for Baez.
The other piece to this is catching. Travis d’Arnaud has proven that he is the hitting prospect we all expected him to be. That leaves rising prospect Kevin Plawecki without a home. Plawecki, who is thriving in Triple A, can be packaged with one of the pitchers in an enticing deal for the Cubs.
The Mets should probably start with a package of deGrom and Plawecki for Baez and go from there. They should entertain moving Jon Niese as well. Even though he is the lone lefty the Mets have, they have Darin Gorski that’s close to the big leagues or they can sign a lefty veteran for next season. Niese is under contract and is proven for a longer stretch than any of the other names mention and might be more enticing.
Javier Baez is a game-changer. He might not make the Mets better in 2014, but he makes them better for the future and gives them that high ceiling bat that they’ve longed for. Here’s a chance to cash in the talent that has been stock-piled for a young, high impact potential bat. Of course, trading for Baez comes with a ton of risk, but it also comes with the highest ceiling of any of the options the Mets have. It’s something that should be explored and attempted. It would change the entire complexity of the Mets, for the better.