The Yankees decided to swoop in and get themselves a shortstop this week, something that seems impossible for the New York Mets.
That was confirmed tonight when Sandy Alderson spoke to reporters at the Winter Meetings in San Diego and said the Mets were never in play for Gregorius.
“There’s some young pitching we weren’t prepared to trade,” said Alderson who added that the two clubs “never had extensive conversations.”
The Mets were wise saying no to these demands, causing Arizona to look elsewhere and eventually secure prospects Robbie Ray and Domingo Leyba from the Tigers’ system.For the Diamondbacks, Ray and Leyba were greater than or equal to Noah Syndergaard.
The Yankees, in turn, gave up 26 year-old Shane Greene, who surprised many with his solid performance in 2014 (3.78 ERA / 3.73 FIP).
So what gives?
First, Shane Greene. The Tigers were looking for an inexpensive back-end starter to fill out their rotation in 2015 and beyond. Greene fits that mold. But by no means is he the type of young pitcher you would usually acquire for a combination of top prospects. Coming into the 2014 season, Greene ranked 27th on a composite list of Yankee prospects. At 25, he is a late bloomer, and despite his solid pitching last season, looking at his history throughout the minors, it is hard to believe that he will turn into anything above a fourth or fifth starter.
I don’t think the Tigers are expecting much more from Greene, which is why it is quite clear that they don’t place very high value on either Ray or Leyba.
Which brings us back to the original question. Why would Arizona refuse to engage with the Mets on any prospect below Syndergaard, who is one of the top prospects in all of baseball, when they were willing to take less of a package from Detroit?
For the Mets, it means that Sandy Alderson was wise not to overpay for Gregorius, who is a solid defensive shortstop, but at a projected 1.2 fWAR next season per Steamer, not necessarily a huge upgrade in comparison to the offensive value of in-house talent such as Wilmer Flores.