There is an interesting issue that arises with fans. There is an obvious notion that often goes overlooked. It’s easy to say that the Mets should expunge the current dead weight of their rotation.
It’s easy to point fingers at Dillon Gee and Jon Niese at this point, both of whom have not been pitching well recently. Niese and Gee don’t necessarily have high upsides at this point and have experienced highs and lows throughout the years. It’s unrealistic to think any of them are anything more than a fourth or fifth starter at this point. I would imagine that Sandy Alderson doesn’t want to trade either for a bag of balls at this point, which is probably what they would return. Their values could not be lower.
If you’re not drooling over the possibilities of the 2016 Mets pitching rotation, then something is off in your brain. Assuming Sandy Alderson doesn’t make a move (i.e. the Wilpon’s give him the financial flexibility to make a move) that involves him moving one of the young-guns, here is what it could look like one through five:
1) Matt Harvey
2) Jacob deGrom
3) Zack Wheeler
4) Noah Syndergaard
5) Steven Matz
If this doesn’t excite you, then your a fan of the wrong sport.
My point on this is that for that rotation to be implemented, Gee, Niese and Bartolo Colon need to be removed from the equation. Colon is a free agent after this year so that isn’t an issue. Niese has a team-friendly contract that ends with $10 million team options for 2017 and 2018. Gee will hit free agency in 2017.
The most obvious yet hardest thing to do is to trade players that are contributing. Hence the root of my argument in this article: Trade Bartolo Colon.
This move would come with the assumption that one of Gee or Niese will bounce back and start contributing this season. Gee wasn’t awful earlier in the year and Niese has been better in recent years, years in which he has been hurt.
It’s not out of the question to think that one or both of them are just in a funk and the added pressure of knowing they could be dealt probably doesn’t help. Colon is obviously living up to his contract and helping the Mets stay in contention. He leads the National League in wins. His value, at this point in his career, probably wouldn’t be higher than right now.
Colon amazes me every game he pitches. I can’t fathom sometimes how he works through lineups with his repertoire. I underestimate time and time again his skills on the mound. However, trading him would clear around $5 million in salary (this doesn’t matter to us, but I know of some owners who might take well to this) as well as possibly bring some sort of return to the Mets, possibly a B-level prospect or a high-upside guy in the lower minors.
With this move, Niese and Gee might be able to shake the trade-talks from their minds and concentrate on contributing on the mound. It’s definitely something to think about.