The Mets will keep and protect Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, and feel it will be tougher to deal Jon Niese or Dillon Gee now that Matt Harvey will be missing next year, writes Joel Sherman. But if they bundle some minor league pitching — perhaps headed by Rafael Montero — can they attract another quality bat?
It seems that Montero is frequently the pitching prospect who most often gets mentioned as the one the Mets will trade this offseason, despite his phenomenal season in 2013. He was honored with this year’s Sterling Award as the top performing pitcher.
The 22-year old righty opened eyes at Triple-A Las Vegas this season where he defied the odds in the hitters’ paradise known more commonly as the Pacific Coast League.
Montero posted a 3.05 ERA in 16 starts for Las Vegas after compiling a 2.43 ERA in 11 starts with Double-A Binghamton. Overall, he had a 2.78 ERA and 150 strikeouts over a career-high 155⅓ innings while walking a stingy 35 batters all year. Better than that, he allowed just six home runs this season.
I get the feeling that Montero is as good as gone and will likely make his debut with another team. I just hope that what we get back for him proves worth it and that trading this exciting MLB-ready arm doesn’t come back to bite us on the ass.