If Wholesale Changes Are Coming, It Will Be Mostly Through Trades

The other day I was reading a post by Joe D. who made it crystal clear that the Mets will not be making any significant changes via free agency. The already limited flexibility will be furthered by raises to arbitration eligibles like Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell and Ike Davis. If Sandy Alderson meant it when he promised wholesale changes, it’s abundantly clear that it will have to come from working the phones and making some significant changes via the trade route.

The front office have made seven trades since taking control of the Mets, so we do have a limited body of work we can review as the hot stove begins to warm up. Some teams have already begun wheeling and dealing and if the Mets GM stays true to his word, it won’t be long until we start to see some activity from the team at the bargaining table as well. Here is what they’ve done in the way of trades in the last two years:

  • Mets acquire SS Chin-lung Hu from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for lefthanded pitcher Mike Antonini. Hu’s career as a Met lasted all of 23 plate appearances in which he produced just one solitary hit. The trade did nothing to help the team, but luckily it didn’t cost us much.
  • Mets trade RHP Eddie Kunz to the Padres for first baseman Allan Dykstra. Kunz was a first-round pick of the Mets in 2007, while Dykstra was a first-round pick for the Padres in the 2008 draft. Neither have made it to the majors and neither probably will. Dykstra is 25 and still hasn’t gone past Double-A. However he has the distinction of being one of only two players (minimum 200 PA) to have more walks than hits.
  • The Mets acquire RHP Adrian Rosario and LHP Danny Ray Herrera from the Milwaukee Brewers for Francisco Rodriguez and cash. Rosario, 22, hit a brick wall in Double-A in 2012 where he posted a 5.83 ERA and a WHIP over 2.00 in 2012. Herrera, 26, was placed on waivers by the Mets in 2012 and spent the season in Buffalo where his season ended in April with elbow surgery. Francisco has never been the same since losing the closer role and is a free agent this Winter.
  • Mets trade center fielder Carlos Beltran and cash to the San Francisco Giants for RHP Zack Wheeler. The Single-A prospect quickly vaulted to the top of the Mets prospect list and could make his MLB debut in 2013 if he could get over his bouts of wildness and improve his walk rate. Beltran continues to produce at an All Star pace and ended up leaving the Giants to sign a two-year deal with the Cardinals.
  • Mets trade center fielder Angel Pagan for RHP Ramon Ramirez and center fielder Andres Torres. This was the first deal Sandy Alderson made that had nothing to do with dumping salary, or trading minor league fodder. But the deal backfired miserably for the Mets as both Torres and Ramirez made negative impacts on the team while Pagan helped lead the Giants into the World Series.
  • Mets trade infielder Omar Quintanilla to the Baltimore Orioles for cash. Q provided a huge boost to the bench during the Orioles’ stretch run including a late-season 3-for-4 performance with a home run and three RBIs to help the Orioles grab hold of at least a wild card while they were giving the Yankees fits.
  • Mets trade RHP Pedro Beato to the Boston Red Sox for catcher Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach got off to a sizzling start that lasted all of ten days before he ended his Mets season at with worse numbers .203/.276/.342 than his career norms of .226/.314/.418. Beato, 25, had some success with the Bosox and is being counted on for their bullpen in 2013.

As you can see there were quite a few misses, a couple of washes, and only one real hit assuming Wheeler delivers on his expectations.