XtreemIcon just emailed me a link to Jim Bowden’s latest post on ESPN Insider (subscription required). Bowden goes out on a limb and predicts five moves that will happen this Spring. Among them he says the Mets will breakdown and make a trade for at least one everyday starting outfielder:
The Mets will open spring training with a starting outfield of Lucas Duda, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Mike Baxter. It’s probably the worst group in the league, as all of them are better served in a reserve role. That’s why GM Sandy Alderson will continue to search for upgrades. He made a four-year, $48 million offer to Michael Bourn that didn’t get done when Alderson wouldn’t relent on a vesting fifth-year option. Bourn signed with Cleveland on Monday.
The Mets think they have a long-term solution for their outfield in promising prospect Brandon Nimmo, but he’s a few years away and that’s if he’s able to live up to the Mets’ scouting reports. Therefore, Alderson and the Mets’ front office must trade for outfield help. Teams that have enough depth to make a deal with New York include: the Oakland A’s (Coco Crisp or Chris Young), Cleveland Indians (Drew Stubbs or Michael Brantley) and Detroit Tigers (Brennan Boesch or Quintin Berry).
As I replied to Xtreem, Bowden is probably onto something here and makes a solid case.
We cant wait 3-5 years for Brandon Nimmo to address this problem and in fact he’s far from a lock and still a project. Other outfielders with promise include Travis Taijeron and Vicente Lupo, but they too are years away and far from a sure thing.
Optimally, the Mets need to deal from their strength, and that means moving some of their high promise right-handed starters flourishing in the minors.
Nobody likes to trade pitching if they don’t have to, but in the Mets case there is no other way. There’s always the possibility that we can move Daniel Murphy for an outfielder and slot Wilmer Flores in his place, but the team is high on him and he’s popular in the clubhouse. Although that didn’t stop them from trading R.A. Dickey so it could happen.
Flores on his own has no value and mostly because he needs to repeat the season he had in 2012 before he’ll have the kind of value that would net a major league outfielder.
I hope Bowden is right, but Alderson sounded like someone who was resigned to going with this current group of outfielders when he was asked about it on Thursday.
Let’s see what happens…
Off Topic – I have no idea and I can’t explain the increase in traffic since the calendar turned to 2013, but thanks to all of our new readers. We are averaging over 14-15 thousand unique readers a day since the start of the year and I’m shocked because the season hasn’t really gotten underway yet. Thank you all so much.