It’s October, and the Mets aren’t in the playoffs. So since there’s no better news to talk about, it’s time to read about completely hypothetical trade ideas that will probably never happen.
There are no reports that the Cubs are actively looking to trade injured young star Kyle Schwarber, and they opted not to do it at the trade deadline. But it might make sense for the Cubs to trade him, considering that they won 103 games without him this year, and their outfield of Ben Zobrist, Dexter Fowler and Jason Heyward isn’t exactly one that’s desperate for a revamp. He’s a natural catcher, but the team has been hesitant to play him behind the plate. He made just 15 starts there in 2015, so they might not have anywhere to play him if they don’t want to put him at catcher.
Schwarber missed all but two games this year due to a knee injury. Last year, he batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 69 games as a rookie. This is someone the Mets could definitely use: A star position player under long-term, affordable team control to compliment the team’s young pitching staff– if it ever comes back.
The Mets should even consider trading one of their young starting pitchers for Schwarber. Someone like a Steven Matz or a Matt Harvey has legitimate ace potential, but has become a little bit more expendable this season after the emergence of Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.
Without Matz, Harvey or another one of those pitchers, the team would still have three young aces, Gsellman, Lugo, Zack Wheeler (if he’s ever healthy again) and maybe even Bartolo Colon if he re-signs. The Mets still have more pitchers than they know what to do with, and Gsellman and Lugo both pitched well enough down the stretch to at least compete for a roster spot.
A straight-up Matz-for-Schwarber trade is something that could make sense for both teams in the long run. The only Cubs starting pitchers that are under team control beyond 2017 are Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks. Single-A RHP Dylan Cease is the team’s only blue-chip pitching prospect on the horizon, but he is likely at least two years away from the Bigs. So they could really use a young starting pitcher, not just for 2017 but for future seasons.
Without most of their young pitchers down the stretch this season, the Mets still had the third-lowest team ERA in the NL this season. However, they scored the fourth-fewest runs in the league. This trade could only bolster the team’s lineup and make them a more complete team. Schwarber could split reps between the outfield spot that will likely be vacant if Yoenis Cespedes leaves, and spend time behind the plate as well.
Theo Epstein is quite possibly the greatest executive in sports history. Maybe he’s too smart to trade Schwarber. Maybe he’s too dumb to not trade for Matz or another one of the Mets’ pitchers. Either way, this would be a great deal for the Mets should it come up.