A topic being discussed recently in the Boston area in sports media and sports talk radio involves Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. The question they are asking Red Sox fans is:
Red Sox beat writer Peter Abraham himself actuality posed the question to his readers in the Boston Globe on Sunday.
Abraham noted the topic was first raised by his Globe colleague Nick Cafardo several weeks ago, but no one really took Cafardo’s scenario very seriously. But, when Scott Boras lowered the boom on Met management accusing the Mets of placing his pitching client’s future in doubt, Abraham wondered aloud whether, perhaps, the landscape may have changed making a Bogaerts for Harvey swap a possibility.
Bogaerts, 22, is slashing at .321/.352/.415 with 30 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homers, 70 runs and 72 RBI with 110 OPS+ and 4.6 WAR.
From a Met perspective, would you trade Matt Harvey for Xander Bogaerts? You have to admit the possibility could have legs. Here’s why…
The Red Sox are desperate for starting rotation help and simply can’t head south in February with the same cast of characters who started games in 2015. Boston will be looking to wheel and deal to bring in pitching help, so why not Matt Harvey?
The Sox recently hired Dave Dombrowski as their new President of Baseball Operations. That’s the same Dave Dombrowski that sent Yoenis Cespedes ito the Mets for Michael Fulmer. That trade seems to indicate Dombrowski and Met GM Sandy Alderson have a good working relationship. Personal dynamics between key personnel in baseball operations of two teams can create the environment to get things done.
The Boras/Harvey brouhaha badly eroded the Harvey warrior persona of toughness. Adored by Met fans and credited with helping reshape a laissez-faire Met clubhouse attitude, when Harvey backed up Boras and validated the Boras contention that a 180 hard innings cap had been established by his surgeon, his credibility with Met fans plummeted almost overnight. The thought of trading Harvey, once considered preposterous by most Met fans now actively received support.
The Red Sox are stacked at the middle infield slots. Deven Marrero, the Sox’s number one draft pick in the 2012 draft, started this season at shortstop for Triple-A Pawtucket. The athletic Marrero profiles as an elite defensive shortstop who makes handling play at the position look easy. The kid, who recently turned 25, has gold glove potential and is considered to have at least average major league batting potential.
And, Marrero might be a place holder for ‘off the charts’ Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada. Moncada is uniquely gifted physically with a build more like a football defensive linebacker than a baseball infielder. Although he doesn’t necessarily profile with the defensive deftness of Marrero, he shows soft hands, better than average range and a strong arm. And, it is expected Moncada will hit with power.
If the Mets moved Harvey to bring in Bogaerts, Wilmer Flores could be moved to second base to replace Daniel Murphy. The 16 home runs and 59 RBI’s this year for Flores validate the confidence baseball people like Wally Backman had evaluating his potential as a major league hitter. Defensively, Flores would be an upgrade at second over Murphy. In fact a Met infield with Bogaerts at shortstop and Flores at second would be pretty tight. Dilson Herrera, who hit .327 at Triple-A Vegas and smacked 10 HR’s would compete with Flores for the second base position and provided much needed depth. Flores would be an insurance policy for David Wright should he experience issues with his spinal stenosis condition.
Moving Murphy would save a large chunk of salary that when added with the salary saved by severing service, or dramatically reducing the cost of service, with Bartolo Colon would provide a healthy kitty to allow the Mets to compete in the sweepstakes to retain the services of Yoenis Cespedes.
Harvey hails from Connecticut and would be an instant hit in Boston, meaning the Mets might leverage a deal to obtain additional prospects in a deal for Bogaerts.
For me, the jury is still out on the idea of trading a guy like Matt Harvey. Harvey has been a beast on the mound for the Mets. From the moment Harvey first stepped on the Citi Field mound, his bulldog mentality has helped change the Met narrative. Harvey turned the hope of a Mets turnaround into a reality.
But, is Bogaerts the kind of talent the Mets would want to obtain for someone of Harvey’s baseball ilk? I watched this kid play for Portland at the Double-A level and fell in love with his play. His 2013 post season splash (.296 BA) had Bogaerts on almost every baseball fan’s radar. Bogaerts is having a breakout season in 2015 hitting .320 for the Sox. Although Bogaerts has hit only 5 HR’s, his doubles production has slightly surpassed that of his rookie season, and the Red Sox shortstop has knocked home 71 runs. Bogaerts has also reduced his strikeout percentage, is only 22 years old and doesn’t become a free agent until 2020.
Yet, the fact the Boston media is openly asking Sox fans whether Xander Bogaerts could be traded for Matt Harvey made me wonder what Met fans would think about the possibility of trading Harvey for Bogaerts. Met fans, what do you think?