We are a few weeks away from the winter meetings and while the talk around the Mets have revolved around who we should be acquiring, it is equally important to make quick and effective decisions on the players that will better serve us with another team’s uniform.
The player at the top of this list would be Jordany Valdespin, a potentially useful part but currently the outcast of the organization. There is no secret that he has irked many of his teammates and members of the front office on multiple occasions, which is why, no matter how much he may hit next year, it would not be worth the stress of forcing your manager and teammates to work with a landmine.
This brings me to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero to be their second baseman for the next four seasons. If they are willing to give Valdespin a chance to redeem himself, he could conceivably become a quality backup at both middle infield positions.
On the LA roster are two names that I believe should be available (this is just purely my intuition). The first is 2B/SS Dee Gordon, whose name has been bought up before and the second would be 1B/OF Scott Van Slyke.
Gordon has fallen out of favor with the Dodgers as he has not hit much over the past two seasons in part time duty. He has great footwork and a strong arm but has played poorly in the field as well and was most recently demoted to be primarily a pinch runner during the Dodgers playoff run. He has one minor league option remaining.
Scott Van Slyke is a power right handed hitter who has arguably put up the best numbers in all of Triple A for the last three seasons, yet most sources from last year listed him as a C/C+ prospect. I am perplexed at how low his value is and how he is labeled as an AAAA player based on a sample size of 180 ABs over irregular playing time and two call ups. Van Slyke also has one minor league option remaining. Here is an interesting piece detailing Van Slyke’s career from Hardball Times.
Gordon can compete with Ruben Tejada and provide Collins with an option against tougher right handed starters while Van Slyke could do the same for Ike Davis or Duda against the tougher lefties while playing some outfield as well. Both players have elite potential in one specific tool (Gordon – speed, Van Slyke – power) and both are areas that the Mets can use help in.
Finally, I would also like to throw Josh Satin‘s name into the mix. I could see the Dodgers being very interested in doing a one for one, Van Slyke for Satin swap. The reasons being that their OF is full and 1B is manned by Adrian Gonzalez so their ability to effectively use Van Slyke is greatly reduced. However, Josh Satin, who is a Los Angeles native, has shown the ability to be useful off the bench, not only as a pinch hitter but also at multiple positions. Based on what we saw from Satin last year, I think he will have a fruitful career where he is most valuable as an utility player with potential to be a serviceable every day second baseman.
I am crossing my fingers that even if the Mets cannot work out a deal with Los Angeles for Andre Ethier, that they can at least work together to swap some players that both sides can use more effectively.
*Also, giving credit where due. A quick search shows that user Captain America previously suggested a Valdespin for Gordon trade.