Is there a chance that the Mets could check in on Cubs centerfielder Tony Campana? With Scott Hairston joining a crowded outfield situation in Chicago, Campana seems to be the odd man out now. Given the latest on the Michael Bourn front it seems unlikely that the Mets will sign him so why not go after Campana and add some speed and defense to the team via that route? Thoughts on a few hypothetical trades would be appreciated.
Sean Kenny replies:
Tony Campana is a very interesting case in that he is a true centerfielder, has great speed and has experienced moderate success at the major league level. From the Mets standpoint, it makes sense if you view Campana, who also hits left handed as an upgrade in CF to Kirk to at least inquire. Tony exhibits awkward splits (strikes out more against righties, walks more against lefties) but that may be a product of small sample size. However, the downside in getting Campana is he has ZERO power. Tony has 10 XBH in 317 career MLB at-bats, and profiles decently at the top of the order, but anywhere else he could be a liability for easier outs.
The Cubs have a very good farm system in terms of offensive potential and high-impact bats who may be ready within the next year or two, but very few pitchers who profile as anything more than 4/5 starters. The Cubs right now are penciling in Garza/Jackson/Samardzija in the rotation with the rest being up for grabs. The Mets could offer a guy like Colin McHugh, Darin Gorski or a package with Schwinden and a lower-level prospect since Campana at 26 doesn’t seem to fit into the Cubs future plans as anything but a fourth outfielder.
Another possible package which could interest the Mets would be grabbing Campana and SS Junior Lake, who is a toolsy-but-unrefined SS with some athleticism and trading Mejia/Familia and someone like Zach Lutz. Zach, who is closer to the MLB could provide an insurance plan in case Josh Vitters doesn’t pan out.
While the trade would be unlikely for a few reasons since the best Cubs OF prospects just recently finished playing A ball and insurance at CF is important, it is an avenue the Mets should explore if they see fit. Campana could add legitimate speed as he was on base 57 times last season and stole 30 bases while only getting caught 3 times – offering another option in the OF.