Pre-Heat The Hot Stove: Mets & Rockies A Match?

An article by posted on October 10, 2012

You’ve heard it, I’ve heard, everybody has heard it. The Mets do not plan on being active through free agency but they do intend on being active through trades this winter.

Only time will tell what really happens, but those words from Alderson has pre-heated the hot stove oven for sure!

Everywhere you go, you see a list of trade possibilities. J.P. Arencibia, Justin Upton, Josh Willingham, trading Wright, trading Dickey. The list goes on.

The only other team I have seen reportedly looking to be very active in the trade market is the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies are not looking to deal Tulowitzki, but instead wish to rely on their slew of young outfielders to net them a deal where they are weak. Two of the players being discussed as trade possibilities are Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler. They are also contemplating an extension with Fowler – they haven’t decided one way or the other yet.

At 33, Cuddyer hit .260 with 16HR and 58 RBI while the 26 year old CF Dexter Fowler hit .300 with 13HR 53RBI and 12SB.

Before we get too far, I know you’re wondering about their Coors Field splits.

Cuddyer: .858 Home OPS, .744 Road OPS.
Fowler: .984 Home OPS, .720 Road OPS.

You can certainly make an argument that they are helped by Coors Field, but in 2011 Cuddyer played in a very tough pitchers park in Minnesota and his splits were .829 to .784. So the ability to hit in a tough park is certainly there for Cuddyer.

The same can be said for Fowler who in 2011, had a home OPS of .811 and a road OPS of .782.

Cuddyer is a right handed bat who can play 1B, RF and 3B as well. He is signed through 2014 making $10.5m per season with performance bonuses up to $1.5m in 2014.

He would give the Mets a RF they badly need, but also a safety net at 1B depending on how Ike does against lefties. Cuddyer is a .287 hitter against LHP.

Dexter Fowler is a switch hitting CF who will be in his 2nd year of arbitration this offseason. He made $2.35m last year as a Super-Two player. He plays a very good CF, and has a lot of speed but hasn’t mastered the art of the stolen base yet.

In order for the Rockies to wheel and deal, they need pitching and they need to swap some strengths and fill in some weaknesses.

Back in December, there were talks that the Mets were interested in Eric Young Jr., and that the Rockies were interested in Jon Niese & Justin Turner.

Young Jr played in 98 games, hit .316 with a .825 OPS and 14 steals.

So that is where I start. I begin with Niese and Turner for EY Jr.  Now, I want Fowler & Cuddyer so what can the Mets throw in to sweeten the deal?

Well, let’s say for arguments sake the Mets are going into 2012 with Dickey, Harvey, Johan. Then you have Wheeler, Mejia, McHugh, Familia, Gee, and maybe Young or Pelfrey all fighting for two spots.

So, I give the Rockies Gee. I like Gee, he’s a tough kid but he’s never going to net the Mets more than this deal could accomplish. He’s MLB ready and proven which is what Colorado needs.

So we’re at Niese, Turner, Gee for Cuddyer, Fowler, Eric Young Jr.

My last offer would include Daniel Murphy. Another player I’d hate to see go, but if the Mets look to add Young Jr. then part of the reason is a need for speed and athleticism at 2B. That leaves Murphy out.

So that’s my offer: Jon Niese, Justin Turner, Dillon Gee, Daniel Murphy for Michael Cuddyer, Dexter Fowler, and Eric Young Jr. That’s the foundation of the deal, minor league throw ins not included.

I think it’d be a tough deal for both sides. Me, I’d hate to see everybody but Turner go, but the greater good will be worth it. The Rockies I’m sure would hate to give up so much on offense, but if they are as confident in guys like Tyler Colvin then they need to trade some pieces now to get the arms they so desperately need.

Both teams accomplish what they need to do in order to revamp their rosters. The Rockies get 2 young proven arms that don’t cost a ton, they also get a backup infielder in Turner and a guy in Murphy who will likely flourish in Colorado.

The Mets, they fill their needs in the outfield, they rely more heavily on defense at 2B and they continue to work on their younger pitchers to find spots for them in the future.  This would mean the Mets only need to focus on bullpen arms and a catcher in a potential deal/signing and gives them a lot more chances to rely on the minor leagues for such a deal.

So what do you think? First, what are your thoughts on a kid like Dexter Fowler patrolling CF at Citi Field?

Second, is my trade offer too much, not enough, just right?

What would you look to do with Colorado if they are actively shopping Fowler & Cuddyer?

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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