Mets' 5 Most Tradeable Assets for 2014-15 Offseason
General manager Sandy Alderson has made some major trades in his tenure with New York Mets, and the 2014-15 offseason gives him another chance to make a splash. The Mets finished this season out of the playoffs for the eighth straight year but were as close as they’ve been to October baseball since missing by one game in 2008.
After finishing tied for second in the NL East, the Mets will look to break their playoff drought in 2015, and a trade may be the thing that allows them to reach that goal.
The Mets have made it obvious that pitching is their main focus, and it should be considering they have one of the best, if not the best, young pitching cores in all baseball. The organization has also made it clear it is not going to compete with the deep-pocketed teams of the MLB.
So, with a huge free-agent signing pretty much out of the question, the Mets' best chance at improving their odds in 2015 will probably come via a trade. Here are the five most tradeable assets for the Mets prior to the start of next season.
All statistics via Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.
Steven Matz had a really strong 2014 for the Mets playing between Single-A and Double-A. In 12 starts for the Binghamton Mets, the young lefty went 6-5 with a 2.27 ERA. At the young age of 23, Matz seems to be a promising prospect, but the Mets have so many pitchers in front of him that trading Matz after such a good year might be the best decision.
It never hurts to have extra arms in your farm system, but with the Mets’ lack of hitting, flipping the lefty for a young bat would be a smart move.
The Chicago Cubs seem to always be the obvious choice for the Mets when referring to a pitcher-for-batter swap, but for whatever reason the teams have yet to be able to work things out. If the teams ever do make a deal, Matz could be one of the main guys involved in it.
Like Matz, Kevin Plawecki had a really strong 2014. Plawecki played 101 games on the year between Double-A and Triple-A. The only problem for the 23-year-old catcher is that Travis d'Arnaud is just 25 and should be behind the plate for the Mets for a long time.
Trading Plawecki is almost a must for the Mets this offseason. His value is extremely high right now, and the catcher position is about as thin as it has ever been throughout the MLB.
Moving Plawecki this offseason for a bat in another position is a transaction the team should really consider making. Also, the possibility of being able to package two promising prospects like Plawecki and Matz would be an extremely valuable combination.
Dillon Gee is an interesting case for the Mets and is my clear favorite to be the odd man out in the Mets' 2015 rotation. Gee had a fairly disappointing season for New York, which included some injuries and just an overall bland year from the righty.
He finished the 2013 season looking like an ace but could not carry that success into this past season’s campaign. With Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon all certainly ahead of Gee in the eyes of the franchise and Noah Syndergaard waiting in the wings, it is nearly impossible to imagine Gee cracking the 2015 Mets staff.
With Gee up for arbitration this offseason the Mets will likely move him. The 28-year-old is a serviceable pitcher and is someone who can be a strong end-of-the-rotation guy somewhere. I’d be surprised if the Mets didn’t trade him, but just don’t expect them to get too much in return.
In 2014, Daniel Murphy led the Mets in hits, at bats, runs, doubles, batting average and offensive WAR. Trading him would be borderline moronic, but it is a possibility I should mention.
Murphy will be 30 years old at the start of the 2015 season and is coming off arguably the best season of his career. The argument for trading Murphy is that his value is his highest right now, and there are promising young prospects who could fill his spot. With Dilson Herrera and possibly Wilmer Flores able to play Murphy’s position, some people think the Mets should move him.
However, I honestly don’t understand it at this point. Murphy is the team’s best and most consistent hitter, and I’m not sure the return the Mets would receive from trading the second baseman is worth moving him.
Arbitration is a possibility for Murphy this offseason, but if the Mets are smart they will sign him to a long-term deal before it gets that far. Let’s hope Sandy Alderson and Company make the right decision on Murphy and keep him at Citi Field for the foreseeable future.
Bartolo Colon is the obvious choice for a Mets offseason trade after signing him to a two-year, $20 million deal just one season ago. The 41-year-old ended the season with a 15-13 record and an ERA of 4.09.
2014 was a really strange year for Colon. When he won, he was amazing, but when he lost, he was pretty horrible. In Colon’s 15 wins he allowed just 21 runs in 109.1 innings, good for an ERA of 1.73. In his losses, however, he allowed 62 runs in 76.2 innings, an ERA of 7.04.
Personally, I believe Colon proved he can continue to be a very valuable pitcher for at least one more season, and trading him could make sense for the Mets, an organization with a surplus of pitching. Plus, $11 million for an experienced pitcher like Colon is not all that crazy.
However, there is a problem with trading him. If the Mets plan on making a run for the playoffs in 2015, which they almost certainly do, then trading Colon would be a bad idea. The veteran right-hander is the only starter in the Mets’ rotation who has appeared in a playoff game, something that is a necessity when it comes to October baseball.
Realistically the Mets will probably hang on to Colon over the offseason and have him in their rotation come April. If they’re in playoff contention when the 2015 deadline comes around, he’ll stay, but, if they are out of the race, that is when I’d expect to see the Mets move him.