It’s become very apparent that the Mets have made little progress in fixing a glaring need in the outfield that prompted GM Sandy Alderson to famously say, “Outfield? What outfield” last November.
Wile there was a halfhearted attempt made in trading for Justin Upton or signing free agent Michael Bourn, readers here will remember my warnings that neither situation was to be taken very seriously and was simply intended to provide a fan base that is losing interest with some faint hope.
Incidentally, tonight we’ll find out the name of that 11th overall pick that was deemed untouchable during their pursuit of the bonafide leadoff hitter and gold glove center fielder they so desperately needed. While Bourn is batting .301 with a .346 on-base for the Indians this season, while Mets leadoff hitters are batting a combined .219 this season. Leadoff hitter? What leadoff hitter?
“If the Dodgers decide to simply bite down and eat a whole bunch of Ethier’s deal,” he writes. “Then the list of potential suitors will grow and the New York Mets should be in the market for major league outfielders.”
Easier said than done. Money isn’t the only thing that has been holding back the Mets, as they’ve yet to show any willingness to use their surplus of your right-handed pitching prospects to shore up a huge organizational need.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, rival executives say the Dodgers will need to absorb at least half of Ethier’s contract, or take back an equally bad contract, if they want to find a trade for their outfielder.
As of today, Ethier is owed about $80 million on the five-year deal he signed less than a year ago — mid-June of last year.
2013: $13.5 million
2014: $15.5 million
2015: $18 million
2016: $18 million
2017: $17.5 million
2018: A $2.5 million buyout on a $17.5 million vesting option.
Ethier sounds enticing, but that’s a boatload of money to commit to a player who’s not exactly having a good season and could be in decline.