2011 MLB Trade Speculation: Can Mets Cash in Despite Wilpon's Words?
In the wake of owner Fred Wilpon's recent comments, the New York Mets have to be wondering if they'll be able to turn their trade chips in for fair value come the trade deadline.
Fred Wilpon publicly ripped the three Mets players with the most trade value: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright.
Due to Wilpon's damaging remarks, interested teams will now seek to low-ball Mets management and handcuff them given the owner's apparent distaste for his team's star core.
This scenario in itself begs the question: Can the Mets cash in at the trade deadline despite WIlpon's words?
In case you've been living under a rock for the past couple weeks, here's a quick recap of Fred Wilpon's comments regarding Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and David Wright:
On Carlos Beltran: "We had some schmuck in New York who paid him based on that one series. He's 65 to 70 percent of what he was."
Wilpon, is of course, referring to himself as the "schmuck," while alluding to Beltran's historic success in the 2004 NLCS with the Houston Astros.
On Jose Reyes: "He thinks he's going to get Carl Crawford money. He's had everything wrong with him. He won't get it."
On David Wright: "Really good kid. A very good player. Not a superstar."
So where do the Mets go from here? Can they possibly shop these three whipping boys in the same effective manner they could have prior to Fred Wilpon's roasting?
Batting Average: .278
Home Runs: 9
In the simplest of terms, the Mets shouldn't have any trouble shopping Carlos Beltran.
He's proven that he's fully healthy and recovered from off-season knee surgery. Beltran has rediscovered his power stroke, and opposing teams have certainly taken notice.
The Mets weren't anticipating a blockbuster deadline deal involving Beltran to begin with, so Fred Wilpon's comments don't really hurt the Mets much here.
(Side note: As Gary Cohen said during last night's SNY broadcast, "Who would've thought Carlos Beltran would lead the team in games played through early June?")
Batting Average: .339
Stolen Bases: 19
Nothing that Fred Wilpon says can possibly diminish the trade value of Jose Reyes.
Jose is enjoying what may prove to be his finest season in the big leagues—putting up MVP-type numbers through early June. He's tied for the Major League lead in hits, is fourth among all players in batting average and leads all of baseball in triples.
However, Fred Wilpon, may have shot himself in the foot with his comments about Reyes.
Granted, the Mets weren't going to throw a lucrative contract at Reyes this off season, when he's set to become a free agent. Instead, the Mets were clinging to the hope that he'd give them a hometown discount.
But that slight glimmer of hope went out the window when Fred Wilpon ripped his star shortstop.
The odds were stacked against the Mets to begin with. Would Jose Reyes really want to waste his prime years stuck in the middle of a rebuilding process, playing for an organization in disarray?
Sure, some people banked on the fact that Jose would feel pressure to be loyal to the only organization he's ever called his own. But after Wilpon publicly belittled Reyes, you can be sure Jose already has one foot out the door, with his sights set on a lucrative contract and a winning atmosphere.
Batting Average: .226
Home Runs: 6
Out of these three players, only David Wright's trade value has been diminished by Fred Wilpon's comments.
You can bet many teams already started to view Wright as used goods, even the negative press.
His strikeout total has increased every year since 2006, starting with 113 and eventually rising to a whopping 161 in 2010.
Wright's health, which has been favorable for so long, now comes into question given his prolonged trip to the disabled list this season. Yes, it's only his second time on the DL, but ongoing back problems for a 28-year-old athlete is a real red flag for potential suitors.
Couple these troubling facts with Fred Wilpon's comments, and you can imagine that teams won't be willing give up the farm to acquire Wright's services.