MMO Fan Shot: A Middle Infield Of Drew and Kipnis

edwin-encarnacion

An MMO Fan Shot by Dave in Spain

It’s cold and it’s snowing… Put on your hypothetical thinking caps…

The Mets have three major problems that don´t have any obvious in-house solutions: shortstop, first base, and a true leadoff hitter. In an attempt to solve those problems I propose the following:

1. Sign Stephen Drew for 2 years $24 million with an option for a third year. Yes, I know he´s not ideal, but he’s the best option out there. Giving him a 2-3 year deal will bridge the gap until Gavin Cecchini or Amed Rosario are close or even ready.

2. Trade Daniel Murphy and Jon Niese to the Blue Jays for first baseman Edwin Encarnacion. If you have to add Lucas Duda or Ike Davis and/or some second tier pitching prospects, do it. Toronto is very weak at 2B (and 3b), and at the mid to back of their rotation. Murphy and Niese would address those needs. Encarnacion is a beast, and is under control at a reasonable salary through 2016 (with an option). Toronto still has power in their lineup, but lacks balance and pitching. Encarnacion would hold down 1B and provide prodigious power until Dominic Smith is potentially ready.

3. Trade Wilmer Flores, Ruben Tejada, Rafael Montero, and a lower level prospect to Cleveland for 2B Jason Kipnis. At 26-years old, Kipnis is a good second baseman who provides a high OBP (.366 in 2013) and speed (30 SB) for the top of the lineup. Why would Cleveland trade him? Because they have virtually nothing at third base and a logjam of close-to-MLB-ready middle infield prospects. Flores would give them a good third baseman for a long time, and Tejada would bridge the gap at second until their prospects are ready in a year or less. Montero could slide into their rotation either at the beginning of the season or soon thereafter. I don´t want to trade Montero, but you have to give up quality to get quality. I know this seems like an overpay, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet to get the pieces you need and relieve logjams.

4. Sign a Free Agent pitcher to replace Niese for part of the season. Someone like Bronson Arroyo if you could get him on a short term deal, or even a Dice-K type if not.

What Are The Results?

Starting Lineup

  1. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  2. Stephen Drew, SS
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Edwin Encarnación, 1B
  5. Curtis Granderson, LF
  6. Travis d’Arnaud, C
  7. Chris Young, RF
  8. Juan Lagares, CF

Starting Rotation

  1. Zack Wheeler
  2. Bartolo Colon
  3. Dillon Gee
  4. Bronson Arroyo or Daisuke Matsuzaka
  5. Jenrry Mejia (Jacob deGrom/Carlos Torres)

In 2015, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard take over.

In Closing…

As with all trades, you have to give up quality to get quality. Would we miss Murphy, Niese, and Montero? Sure, but what Kipnis and Encarnación provide would dramatically eclipse whatever was lost with Murphy, and a FA pitcher could replace some of what Niese did.

What happens with Davis and Duda? Either at AAA, traded, or released to save money. Would the Wilpons have to pony up money for Drew? Yes. But this series of moves would make the Mets a much more dangerous and competitive team in 2014 and beyond, and would likely draw many more fans to the park as well.

OK, fire away!

* * * * * * * *

This Fan Shot was contributed by Dave In Spain. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 25,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.

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  • mattbalasis

    Well you can’t make one trade that creates a need (trading murph) contingent on a second subsequent deal … if the follow up deal doesn’t come through you’re up a creek without a paddle (or a 2nd baseman).

  • rwdavis22461

    i certainly can live with that lineup . i do not think Toronto wants to trade Encarsion

  • rwdavis22461

    i do not think even though i like Kipnas that we are giving up way too much in that deal

  • I like the “If we have to include Ike or Duda” line.
    More like “If we get to dump our toxic waste in Toronto’s back yard”.

  • WillisReid

    Im sure Toronto would insist on at least one of Duda or Davis.

    Credit Met fans for their belief that the goal should be winning the WS and it’s every other teams goal to help them do it.

  • MikeBedlam

    From a financial standpoint, this mostly works (depending on any pitching additions). EE makes 9 million this year. If you add Drew for 12 million and get rid of Murphy, Tejada, Davis, and Niese it would balance out well. The problem I see here though, is that neither of these trades are gonna happen.

  • diehardmets

    Neither of those trades makes any sense for the Indians or the Blue Jays. Encarnacion is one of the best offensive players in baseball, and Kipnis is a young, cost controlled, and elite 2B.

  • dnotch

    I like your creativity, unfortunately SA would have to grow a pair before he would ever try to pull this off.

  • mets2014

    100%…these sound more like fantasy baseball trades…folks have to realize no matter how great these deals may look on paper, it just very hard to make trades such as these in real life

  • Wolfmicky21

    Where do I sign?

  • DKNOKOZ

    Good thinking but but I can’t imagine the Indians would move a 26 yr old all-star with four years of team control remaining for that package of prospects, only one of whom is ranked amongst the top 100.

    If they could just do the Blue Jays deal and slide Flores/EY in at 2nd I would still love it though. Wright/Encarnacion/Grandy would be formidable in the middle of the order.

  • Taskmaster4450

    I think the Mets should skip #3. Make the trade with Toronto and put Flores at 2B.

  • mets2014

    when playing fantasy gm, at the very least, use players and teams that have been recently connected to mets as well as players that are known or rumored to be on the trade block…for example, if you want to propose a trade to Cleveland, you should probably include Cabrera in the deal not kipnis since Cabrera was rumored to be on the block and there has never been a mention of kipnis basically because his contract relative to his skills is too good for Cleveland to really consider trading him…make sense?

  • This post has more creativity than we could hope for with these Mets. It also make the MLB team better. Another thing we’ve long to see around these parts. Good try, but I don’t see any of this happening.

  • KennyandtheMets

    I LOVE the idea of getting Encarnacion. I’m not sure that Niese and Murphy would be enough. As was stated above, Encarnacion is a beast with a very team friendly contract.

  • RyanF55

    Love the creativity…but the reality side likely won’t agree. I don’t personally like the idea of shipping Flores and Montero out for Kipnis. Flores may turn out to be just as good and Montero could be used as part of another deal – or in our rotation. I’d love to see the Mets get creative like this – engaging trades with a team or facilitate multi-team trades to get what they need – but it’s just not happening. We all know how this will play out March 31st….Tejada at SS, Davis at 1B. It’s depressing, but true.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    On the contrary. I think it would be overpaying on the Mets part.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Good read, Dave.

    Kipnis as a Met? Sign me up. Encarnacion? HELL YES. The presence of Encarnacion would give the Mets that legitimate cleanup hitter they’ve missed since Carlos Delgado, but would that package be enough? Toronto would probably ask for a young piece back like Matz & I’d save Niese for another deal. Perhaps Gee as a substitute?

    I disagree with signing Drew & see what’s up with Brad Miller of the M’s. Much more of a high reward than Drew.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Was Fielder rumored to be on the block? Lots of players are traded without the media knowing about it.

  • mets2014

    fielder’s contract was a burden to Detroit…none of the players mentioned in this post would classify as a salary dump

  • Tommy Med

    yea. Plus Cleveland isnt giving up Kipnis. especially with that package. he is there franchise player

  • TheFoiler

    This is a hypothetical post. You don’t get to tell him how to imagine things. If you’re so clever, where’s your article on the main page?

  • DKNOKOZ

    Didn’t hear about Fister to the Nationals and most people regard that as the coup of the offseason.

  • mets2014

    listen smart guy even hypothetical posts should have realistic scenarios…I can come up with many deals that would improve the mets for players that other teams would have no motivation to move

  • mets2014

    that’s a good one, but that deal was made so early in the hot stove season…at the point we are in now, we have heard so many players that are “available” and I’m sorry but none of the players mentioned are “available” nor should they be based on their very team friendly contracts

  • Anything that keeps Duda out of the outfield or first base sounds good to me. I love Kipnis, but I would have to be blown away if I were the Indians. As for Encarnacion, I was surprised that he wasn’t the subject of more trade rumors this offseason. The Jays could have sold high on him and would have been able to address 2-3 needs. I bet we hear more about him come the trade deadline.

  • Steven

    There gm said they would if it meant they could fill multiple other whole with well above average players. I know this because of an ESPN interview in the early off season.

  • rwdavis22461

    maybe they can toss in a certain ss with the intials J R . and they pay 50% of his salary .

  • mad met

    Ive been screaming about encarcion for months

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    This is what makes baseball fandom fun—totally disparate views on so many topics.

  • vigouge

    I don’t see how these moves are all that beneficial to any of the teams involved. For the Mets, Murphy and Niese would be an overpay for Encarnacion because of all the value he’d lose having to play in the field full time. He’s a DH, his bat is elite, but he cannot field, he’ll always be worth more to an A.L. team than an N.L. one. For Cleveland, Flores and Montero aren’t nearly enough for Kipinis, add in 2 more guys and then maybe they’ll talk.

    The moves are creative but have way too many moving parts.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Hey Joe, what do you think about this kid Jose Ramirez? He’s a 2B prospect from the Indians system, only 21 years old, was ranked as the fastest baserunner by Baseball America, and he was called up this past season. Could be a good alternative if the Mets don’t have enough chips for Kipnis.

  • Name

    Fister had rumors before he was traded. The trade didn’t just come out of nowhere.
    I want Cabrera, too but I don’t see Sandy getting rid of pitching prospects, with reason. He could try but I think pitching prospects, among other things will be what Cleveland asks for in that trade.

  • Dave_in_Spain

    Thanks Pedro! My feelings exactly!

  • I definitely like him too and he seems to have some great on-base skills for someone so young. He should be able to hit more doubles as he fills out I think.

    As Dave In Spain mentioned, the Indians have to do something with Kipnis, Ramirez, Wendle, Gonzalez – all middle infielders and all would be solid upgrades over anything the Mets have. Although a couple of them may be a half season or season away still.

    The thing I like most about the guy you mention is that he could also bat leadoff so essentially he fills two needs for us at SS and #1. And he would definitely not demand as much back in a trade compared to Kipnis.

    But the Mets would have to act soon because if he develops and adjusts to the majors like many expect him too, his value will certainly go higher and higher. He could be a Jose Reyes Lite.

  • mets2014

    surely the mets will have certain prospects targeted as the trade deadline approaches…mets could dangle gee, parnell & murphy in front of Cleveland assuming the Indians are in the race again…dave in spain suggested flores and tejada in a deal…as you said the Indians are loaded in the middle so it wouldn’t make any sense for them to want either of them in return…pitching seems to be more of an area of need for cleveland

  • Anthony

    Nice imagination an gutsy moves. Unfortunately the mets show neither

  • RyanF55

    I think I remember reading Sandy was engaged with Toronto this off season…I bet their price for Encarnacion was real high…or at least I hope. If he is at all available, the Mets certainly should be calling. Plus, we could have heard Keith profess his love for the name En-Car-Na-C-I-ONE 1000 times a broadcast like he does whenever the Mets played him on the road hahaha.

  • KennyandtheMets

    Have you looked at Encarnacion’s numbers? He had a 900+ OPS over the past two seasons. He will only receive 7 mil over the next two seasons. Murphy and Niese are good players, but I don’t think Toronto will go for it.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    One of the great things about your article is the passion, the debate, and the fightiness it sparks.

    You know it’s a good trade proposal when you have the Goldilocks spectrum of responses: too much to give up, not enough, and just right. 🙂

    Originally, I thought Murphy and Niese weren’t enough, but vigouge pointed out Encarnacion’s defensive shortcomings (wow, he’s brutal), so I’m now somewhere between just right and too much.

    Kipnis: I think he’s just about ready to be an elite talent for years to come, and he’s under cost-effective team control through 2017. I imagine Wheeler or Thor would replace Montero in that scenario, and some mid-range prospect would replace Tejada.

    That said, I have terrible trade evaluation skills. 🙂

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Yes, because we all know that only players mentioned by journalists and bloggers get traded.

    When playing Lord of the Internet, at the very least, use your brain a bit more, before cranking on folks who provide us with original, thought-provoking content.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    …but instead, you’ll just be a wang to other people in the comments section. Got it.

  • Bail4Nails

    I haven’t heard Miller’s name here in a while! He was my favorite choice until MMO’s best told me about Aledmys Diaz. I still think Diaz is the best option, but I would love to see Miller as a Met! Word is he would be ridiculously expensive prospect-wise. Do you like Owings as a consolation prize? If ARI misses out on all the FA pitchers, I think they’d be willing to make a deal with us.

  • Bail4Nails

    Great thinking outside the box, by the way! I wish the FO was this creative in the offseason.

  • Mets2014

    I was merely making a suggestion to enhance the exercise…at no point did I ridicule the author or call him names yet you took offense on his behalf and made it personal and making me out to be a jerk…If you want to challenge my line of thinking fine but don’t play bodyguard

  • Dave_in_Spain

    Thanks all for sharing a good (and civilized!) give and take! That´s what makes the offseason fun and bearable…

  • Martin

    This all sounds great, if it were possible, which it isn’t.

  • agetting

    problem with the article is that the Indians can get more in return for Kipnis than Montero, Flores, Tejada and low level prospect

  • agetting

    lol Flores may turn out to be just as good as a reason to not trade him for kipnis…that’s a joke

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    LOL….No thanks

    Edwin Encarnacion was “IKE DAVIS” In 2009 .

  • Super T

    Love your suggestions Dave and think those moves would put us in the playoffs. The only problem is I don’t think the other teams would trade us those players for the Met players you suggested. Specifically, a 26 y/o Jason Kipnis who after Cano is arguably the top 2B in MLB. It would take more than Flores and Montero to land him IMO.

    Cleveland at the very least would get 1 very top prospect (if not more) if they decided to move him.

  • Pedro’s Rooster

    Meh. You made yourself out to be a jerk. I just called you out on it. You’re welcome.

  • Dave_in_Spain

    Hey Volvos! I thought about Ramirez, but my thinking in putting together the trade proposals was for immediate help rather than unproven help down the road. That said, Ramirez could be a good fallback, especially if it allows us to keep Flores.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Although Ramirez is unproven, he serves as the leadoff option at short we need dearly as Joe mentioned. Although I admire your acknowledgment of immediate help, we have to think about the present & future simultaneously, something teams like Miami & Toronto has failed to do the past couple winters when they decided to go all in. Ramirez is a better choice than the impending albatross that is Stephen Drew. If there was a way to bring in Ramirez & Kipnis for the right price, especially knowing that Cleveland is starved for pitching, giving up Flores is well worth the risk. Then again, I’m fine with a Ramirez/Flores battery up the middle.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    LMAO! Encarnacion was actually capable of hitting over a full season BEFORE 2009, unlike someone.

  • Hitmanᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ✔

    Owings is okay, but I feel that there’s better “consolation prizes” out there among young SS’s available that would fit our need of a leadoff type with a slick glove than Owings. This article has piqued my interest in Jose Ramirez of the Tribe, and the more I read up about him and see footage of him, the more that I’m interested.

  • Bail4Nails

    I’ll check him out, thanks. At this point, I wish they would just decide and get a new shortstop already. I guess there’s still time though.