The Kansas City Royals are the current grist being ground in the rumor mill that is Major League Baseball's hot stove season.
I suppose it is a welcome change for the oft-maligned and hardly spoken of club, because as the saying goes, "any press is good press. "
Perhaps some good can come out of a union of these two down-on-their-luck organizations...something that is mutually beneficial and satisfies both fanbases.
There has been plenty of talk already this offseason about a possible Mets-Royals connection.
It started with the Royals floating the possibility of a Jose Guillen-for-Angel Pagan swap, which the Mets quickly squashed.
There had also been rumblings about the Royals having interest in Luis Castillo (prior to their acquisition of Chris Getz from the White Sox).
Now the Mets are returning the rumor mill favor, as there is new speculation that Gil Meche intrigues the Mets organization.
Also, in recent days the Royals have made it known that they would like to part with defensive genius and everyday left fielder David DeJesus as a way to clear some money to help fill other more glaring holes.
Let me first crush the hopes of Kansas City Royal fans. There is no chance that the Mets will take on Guillen without the Royals bending over backwards to sweeten the deal.
Mets fans...there is no chance the Royals will take on Castillo without the Mets bending over backwards to assume a lot of financial dead weight (which may or may not include Guillen).
All of this being said, if Royals fans can accept that the biggest need their team has at this moment is to clear salary space, and Mets fans can accept that they don't have much to offer...I think a valuable trade can be made.
The Kansas City Royals would send Meche, Callaspo, and DeJesus to the Mets. The Mets in turn would reciprocate by sending back Castillo, Pagan, Omir Santos, and a lower-level pitching prospect for the Royals farm system.
Trading Meche ($12.4M) and DeJesus ($4.7M) would save the Royals about $15 million in 2010 and at least $13 million in 2011. (Callaspo is making about $400K this year, but some value must be traded to save money elsewhere.)
Meanwhile, the Mets would be trading their "bad" contract in Castillo ($6.3M in 2010 and 2011), Pagan (who is under team control through 2012 and will be making roughly $600K in 2010), and Santos (who will be due about $400K in 2010).
This deal would end up saving the Royals roughly $15M over the next two years, and for a team as cash-strapped as the Royals, that means a lot.
Also, swapping Pagan for DeJesus is basically a wash (as a cursory look at their WAR and Value suggests ). Meche is a valuable piece, but for the Royals, $12.3M is too much to pay for what Meche brings to the table.
I know what you are thinking..."If the Royals are winners in this trade, how can the Mets also be winners?" Well, I think that is clear at face value without digging too deeply into the numbers.
The Mets would be receiving a solid and stable arm for their rotation, whose numbers should improve on moving from the AL to the NL.
They fill a void in LF by acquiring one of the best defensive OF in the game in DeJesus (though his offense does leave a lot to be desired), who will prowl the cavernous LF in Citi Field.
Callaspo becomes an immediate replacement for Castillo, and he should be able to provide a comparable offense and a comparable defense (though both Callaspo and Castillo are poor defenders ).
I don't for a minute think that this would please either team's fanbase today. I do think, however, that both teams would be reaping the rewards of this swap by midseason.
The Mets could still use a power bat, which I think would be better filled by attempting to acquire a power-hitting first baseman.
The Royals would also need to fill the void left by the departing Meche, which should be easy now that some money has been freed up and since the market has a plethora of pitchers to offer.
In any case, my conclusion is that a trade between these two teams could be quite profitable for both.