It seems the Cincinnati Reds are interested in acquiring Gary Matthews Jr according to Michael Baron at www.metsblog.com. With Carlos Beltran out until perhaps June, both Matthews and Angel Pagan will be battling for time in center field.
Could this be the foot in the door the Mets need to make a deal for Bronson Arroyo? Perhaps not. In an update it seems that initial report was rebuked by John Fayman of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Granted it seems at least to me that Arroyo, who is in the last year of his contract with the Reds and who is making 11 million, is worth a lot more than just Gary Matthews Jr. What exactly do you think it will take to pry Arroyo from the Reds short of sending them a 20 year old clone of a Peter Edward Rose?
First it’s probably going to cost us an arm. The Reds aren’t going to give up their number two pitcher for a center fielder, an aging one at that. It’s also going to cost us plenty of coin. The Mets are paying just under 2 million for Matthews who signed a 5 year 50 million dollar deal in 2006 with the Angels. So assume then that the Reds want us to cover the majority of Arroyo’s salary.
What’s the good news? Well Arroyo would be a free agent at season’s end and depending how he does this year he could be at least a Type B or even a Type A free agent. To be a Type A free agent, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, he would have to be in the top 20% of players based on the previous two seasons. It may be a pretty big stretch but if Arroyo has a similar year to last season, Type A isn’t out of the realm of possibility. What does that mean if the Mets acquired him? If a Type A free agent is offered arbitration and turns it down, signing with another team, the Mets would be compensated a top draft pick from the team that signs Arroyo, plus a supplemental draft pick in the upcoming draft as compensation.
Essentially the Mets would have lost what, Brian Stokes, who was originally traded for Matthews and in turn rented Arroyo for a year and received a top draft pick and a supplemental pick. But we know it’s going to cost us a bit more. I can see a deal involving Matthews and Jon Niese going to the Reds for Arroyo and the bulk of his salary. Remember the Reds will have Aroldis Chapman biding time in the minors. Does anyone really think the Reds aren’t going to call him up at some point this year? It’s inevitable.
I still think this may make sense for both teams, provided the Reds feel they have enough arms in the stable. So let’s make this happen Omar. Thoughts?