MMO Mailbag: Should The Mets Trade For Allen Craig?

Terence Farley asks…

I think the perfect player for the Mets to get in a deal for either Dickey or Niese is Allen Craig.  I’m surprised that no one has mentioned this idea.

Sean replies…

That is one of the more original offers and proposals that would help both sides. First, lets take a look at Allen Craig

Craig received his first major bump in at-bats this season with 469, playing most of his games at first base but spending 26 in the outfield. Offensively, Craig has shown he can hit, showing a .307 batting average, to go along with 22 home runs and 92 RBI. While Craig doesn’t walk much, for a guy with some promising power as well as ability to hit doubles (I say hit because he doesn’t have the speed to turn singles into doubles) he doesn’t strike out much, with a modest 17.3% K rate.

Now, defensively in 742 career innings in the OF, Craig has put up an 0.9 ARM rating, meaning he doesn’t have a cannon, but he shouldn’t be a liability at either corner. UZR has him at 0.3 over his career, with UZR/150 pegging him at 0.2. To put that in perspective, Duda has 1403.2 career OF innings, and has an ARM rating of -9.2, UZR of -35.8 and UZR of -35.1. This may be the only time ever Mr. Craig hears he is a better defensive option than another OF.

Now for the downside – Craig will turn 28 this season, and trading the cost-controlled upside of a guy like Niese who is just hitting his stride as a pitcher is more difficult. For a guy like Dickey, I think the Mets could possibly get more for R.A., but that is in a perfect world. This is the world of capitalizing on the desperation of other GM’s.