The year 2017 wasn’t the sharpest of Jason Kipnis‘s career, as the second baseman appeared in just 90 games and hit to a .232/.291/.414 clip in 373 plate appearances.
As a result of this, the Cleveland Indians could choose to shop Kipnis this offseason. Joel Sherman of the New York Post believes the Mets could be interested in his services.
In a column released Saturday, Sherman highlights three moves the Mets, Yankees and Marlins could make as the GM Meetings begin in Orlando this week. He has the Mets trading right-hander Robert Gsellman and infield prospect Luis Guillorme for Kipnis.
“While Kipnis was sidelined, Jose Ramirez shifted to second and emerged an MVP possibility, forcing Kipnis to center field (where he had not played since college),” Sherman said in his column.
“He has either two years at $30.5 million or (if his 2020 option is picked up) three years at $44.5 million. Cleveland is a win-now team, yet still always has to worry about what is now a larger payroll than ever before. One NL executive said he thought the Indians were very open to moving Kipnis and might even eat dollars to do so.
“The Mets do not have a ton of financial wiggle room or trade commodities. Gsellman and Seth Lugo will probably intrigue analytic-leaning teams that see mostly untapped upside potential there if their stuff is deployed in a different way. Lugo, though, has a chronic elbow issue that lowers his trade value.”
He also went on to say that Kipnis could be appealing to the Mets since he has history with new manager Mickey Callaway from his time with the Tribe.
The Mets have a need at second base, that much is certain and Kipnis is an interesting trade target.
For his career, he is a .268/.340/.422 hitter in 3,737 plate appearances with 88 long balls and 389 RBI. In his last full season in 2016, he also had a 116 wRC+ and a .347 wOBA.
In 620 innings at the keystone in 2017, the 30-year old Kipnis had seven errors with -2 DRS and a -1.5 UZR. However, the year prior his advanced metrics were better, with 4 DRS and a 7.3 UZR in 1,309 innings.
Gsellman, 24, had a rough season for New York in 2017, going 8-7 with a 5.19 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 1.504 WHIP and 6.2 K/9 in 25 games (22 started) and 119.2 innings pitched.
However, with the Mets pitching staff hampered by injuries this past season, I don’t know if it’s wise to trade young arms just yet.
As for Guillorme, he is a light hitter but is a real stud in the field. He is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League and just appeared in their All-Star Game. He has hit .308/.341/.385 so far this autumn.
What say you, Mets faithful? Would you entertain this trade Sherman suggests? If not, who would you give up for Kipnis’s services?