Buster Olney, a widely respected baseball writer and sideline reporter for ESPN, is one of the more respected media personalities in baseball. Along with Ken Rosenthal, Olney is considered by many to be a “must-follow” on Twitter. His content is considered so valuable by ESPN that you need to pay to read it. Olney has been very busy of late, as the hot stove season has started for baseball teams. Oddly enough, the New York Mets have been brought up by Olney a lot as of late. In the first occasion, he criticized the Mets for the hiring of new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
For some reason, criticizing the Mets made Olney feel as if he could run the team better than Van Wagenen, so Olney sat in the big chair and conjured up an idea for a trade in his head. “If new GM Brodie Van Wagenen is looking for ways to live up to his oath to win in 2019, adding Corey Kluber might be the most effective and financially efficient. The Mets’ rotation would be incredible, with Jacob deGrom, Kluber, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, and Jason Kipnis could play some second base and some outfield. Additionally: The Mets are looking for catching, and Yan Gomes would be a solid short-term fix. New York manager Mickey Callaway is very familiar with all of them, of course, having served as Kluber’s pitching coach in Cleveland.”
In this proposal, which he wrote for ESPN Insider, Olney did make a couple of true points. Yes, adding Kluber to the rotation would make it incredible. Yes, Callaway would benefit from having former Indians players on his team. Besides that, the logic seems lost in his proposal.
To begin, to get Kluber, Kipnis, and Gomes, you would have to trade at least one of the pitchers in the rotation. There is no way that the Indians would give up three of their quality players without wanting a Syndergaard or a Wheeler in return. So, a rotation that already features a most-likely Cy Young award-winning pitcher would get older by adding the 32 year old Kluber and subtracting an elite pitcher in their 20s. On the one hand however, Kluber has a consistent track record, missing only six starts since 2014.
As for Kipnis, he’d be filling a position that is already well filled: second base. Olney must have forgotten about Jeff McNeil, who shocked Mets fans last season by forcing his way up through the Mets minor league system. He went onto slash a .329 batting average, showing that he was able to stay consistent at the plate at the major league level. Kipnis on the other hand batted .230, while slugging 18 home runs. Starting a player like Kipnis over McNeil would not be a wise move, as it would be starting a player who is on the tail end of his career over a player who is just starting his.
As for Gomes, the Mets are indeed in need of catching. This issue will most likely be solved with a cheaper option on the free agent market, however.
While in theory it would be nice to have a trade like the one Olney came up with happen, it just simply is not feasible without giving up an ample number of prospects.