Which Pitching Prospects Go First In A Blockbuster Trade?

So we all know by now that the Mets have a stacked farm system when it comes to pitching.

Sure, the big club has been clicking on all cylinders recently, but in order to ensure sustained success, all the talk has been leading to the team needing one more big bat in the middle of the lineup.

The major areas for upgrade at this point are left field and shortstop. Even if a blockbuster trade is held off until the offseason, the Mets would undoubtedly have to tap into their well of strong pitching prospects in order to get the bat they so desperately desire.

So I’ve been thinking: Who would the Mets be willing to part with in a trade for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton (long shot), Troy Tulowitzki (long shot) or Starlin Castro (not as much of a long shot)?

Jacob deGrom

Heading into next year, the following pitchers are all under team control: Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero. Throw in the quickly rising Steven Matz, Darin Gorski, Logan Verrett, Cory Mazzoni, Hansel Robles and Gabriel Ynoa – and not to mention Jeremy Hefner returning from injury – and there are almost too many arms to choose from, though having too much pitching really never is a bad thing.

But rather than go into next season with all these arms trying to fill five spots, the team will look to package one or two of them in blockbuster trade for a bat.

So who’s the first to go?

We know Colon might be on the way out before this trade deadline, so don’t worry about him. Harvey’s not going anywhere, and even Wheeler would appear to be safe given his potential.

Having a lefty like Niese is essential, and it seems Gee turns in a solid effort every time out.

So that leaves Syndergaard, deGrom and Montero.

deGrom has dazzled since his call-up to the point where he’s a legitimate consideration for the rotation next year even when Harvey returns.

Montero struggled a bit in a few starts earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be effective at the big-league level.

And “Thor” has had an up and down year, but we still have to see what he can do in the bigs.

What a difficult decision for Sandy Alderson?

Porpspects like Noah Syndergaard will ultimately determine how Alderson is remembered by Mets fans.

I’m thinking any team would want at least two pitching prospects in a trade and maybe even a third from the group of lower-level arms.

It’s such a crapshoot here.

Does Alderson hang onto Thor given that he traded Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey to get him?

Does he keep deGrom given his string of dominant starts this year?

Or does he take the scouts advice in that Montero is a polished pitcher with a high ceiling?

Even if the Mets would be willing to trade Gee, other teams likely wouldn’t want him. It’s not that Gee is not a reliable pitcher – which other than some injuries he’s proven to be.

But the other teams would want the Mets young, electric, talented arms that could evolve into aces of a staff. Gee is stable middle of the rotation pitcher, even though at times he’s pitched like an ace.

At this point, are the Mets so invested in their pitching prospects that maybe they just hang onto all of them and continue to piece together the holes until a few position prospects (Brandon Nimmo, Matt Reynolds, etc.) are ready?

It’s unlikely that all the young arms are going to pan out as expected, but for the ones that do, I sure hope they’re wearing orange and blue.

What I’d hate to see is the two prospects that get traded for an impact bat become dominant starters, even if the hitter contributes for a few years.

It’s your call, Sandy. Much luck to you! You’re going to need it!


About Jim Mancari 255 Articles
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Be sure to visit http://www.jimmancari.com/