More than any other hitter available on the free agent market, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez would be a perfect fit in the Mets lineup. Due to salary limitations, San Diego will likely not be able to afford re-signing him when his contract ends after the end of the 2011 season. Former Padre GM Kevin Towers speculates that Gonzalez will be traded.
The San Diego all-star is owed a measly $4.75 million in 2010 with a $5.5 million club option for 2011. He may not on the trade block this offseason, but it is certainly in the Mets’ interest to find out.
Gonzalez would fill a big hole in the Big Apple at first base for the Mets. He slugged 40 homeruns last season in spacious PETCO, so the un-hitter-friendly dimensions of Citi Field would not be as big of a problem as it would for over pitchers. Moreover, it is better to be a power lefty than a power right hand hitter in Citi.
The Padres have youngster Kyle Blanks waiting in the wings to take over at first, his natural position. They also have holes in center field and at second. Tony Gwynn Jr. and David Eckstein are good scrappy defenders, but nothing special with the bat.
A trade with the Mets may look like this:
-David Eckstein (would make a great backup MI replacing Alex Cora)
-Angel Pagan OF (sell high)
-Luis Castillo 2B(Mets would agree to pay 4 of $6 million he is owed)
-Fernando Martinez OF
-Jenry Mejia, RHP
-Reese Havens SS
-1 or 2 minor prospects
The Mets made a mistake not moving Carlos Delgado after bouncing back from a disappointing season. They should not make the same mistake with Castillo. The Amazin's would save the money they would have spent on a big bat like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, which they could use to sign Chrome Figgins to play second base.
Between Brad Hawpe, Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez, Ryan Spilborghs, Eric Young, and Dexter Fowler the Rockies' outfield is crowded. They are also stacked at 2B and 3B with Clint Barmes, Ian Stewart, Garrett Atkins, and Eric Young.
The Mets rotation has three big questions marks, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey. To lessen the uncertainty, New York might consider moving one of them. Pelfrey's sinkerball would be a great fit in the Colorado rotation.
A possible trade could be:
-Jorge De La Rosa
-Ike Davis 1B
I know, Ike Davis is the Mets latest prospect darling, but let's consider the past ones: Fernando Martinez, Carlos Gomez, Lastings Milledge. The point is they don't always pan out. Plus this deal assumes the trade above. The Mets wouldn't need Davis if they had Gonzalez, who is only 27. Davis could replace Todd Helton at first for Colorado long-term. If the Mets do not get Gonzalez I would hope they hold onto Davis.
Jorge de la Rosa turned a corner last year, with 16 wins and 193 strikeouts. To Met fans, it is bit scary how his numbers compare with Oliver Perez in 2007, but along with walks, de la Rosa's biggest problem has been the long ball (he surrendered 20 last season). As a fly-ball pitcher, he would certainly benefit from going from Denver to Queens.
Seth Smith hit 15 HR's in limited time last season. As a lefty, he has a decent chance to hit 20 as the starting LF in Citi. Smith will also be turning the magic 27-years-old next season.
Although Corpas struggled last season, his 2007 and 2008 numbers indicate that he has the stuff to set-up Francisco Rodriguez.