The Mets made two deals for guys who are on the Quad-A/MLB edge and gave up guys who might actually be useful in order to do so. The one that will get everyone’s attention is shipping Kevin Plawecki to the Indians for two org fillers. But the one that might end up biting them in the bottom was dealing three players to the Astros for J.D. Davis and an org filler.
The signing of Wilson Ramos made a catcher expendable and the Mets decided to part ways with Plawecki. A supplemental first-round pick back in 2012, Plawecki always had his fans. His main asset seemed to be – “Well, at least he’s not Travis d’Arnaud.” But in parts of four seasons in the majors, he has a .638 OPS. His first two years were dreadful but he looked like perhaps he turned a corner in 2017. But he was unimpressive last year in his most playing time to date.
It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if Plawecki turned into something better than the .685 OPS hitter he was last season. But the Mets are now committed to Ramos and if anything they’re doing Plawecki a favor by sending him out of town.
In return they get Walker Lockett, who will be rotation depth, and infielder Sam Haggerty. Lockett made it to the majors last year with the Padres and surrendered 4 HR in 15 IP. Before that, he had a 4.73 ERA in the Pacific Coast League. He’s 6’5, throws in the low 90s and has a curve and change. Haggerty, um, um, um – maybe he’s a poor man’s Will Toffey. Supposedly Haggerty can play 2B and SS, too.
The Mets’ other deal they acquired J.D. Davis, who loves to hit in Fresno and has played parts of two seasons in the majors. But if you want to be excited about him, concentrate on the Fresno part. Last year in 85 games in Triple-A, Davis collected 44 extra-base hits, including 17 HR. He didn’t have quite the same success versus AL pitchers, who held him to a sub-Plaweckian .471 OPS in 113 PA. He’s a corner infielder, one who seems poised to get a shot to replace Wilmer Flores. The Mets also received Cody Bohanek, a 22-year-old middle infielder who was overmatched in Hi-A last year.
The Mets sent three players to Houston in this deal – Ross Adolph, Scott Manea and Luis Santana. Adolph was ranked as the club’s 43rd-best prospect by David Groveman in his recently completed series. Santana was ranked 14th. Last year Santana made his U.S. debut at age 18 and put up a .348/.446/.471 line in 242 PA.
The Mets have a ton of middle infielders in their system and it makes sense to trade a couple of them. But even though Santana is three or four years away – in a best-case scenario – this seems like selling low.
There’s a pretty good chance that Santana never amounts to anything. But there’s a pretty good chance that Davis doesn’t amount to anything, either. Personally, my choice would be to gamble on the teenager with a .918 OPS rather than the 25 year old who just put up a (-0.7) fWAR. It would have been a better play to keep Santana and pick up Derek Dietrich, who was released by the Marlins. While it seems some of Davis’ appeal was his ability to hit LHP, Dietrich has a track record of MLB competence and also can play the outfield, as well as the corner infield spots.
So, kudos to the Mets in giving Plawecki a better shot and picking up a half decent rotation depth starter in Lockett. And a disgusted shake of the head for not getting more for Santana.