All the Signs Point to a Big Deal
How do we know? Take a look at the non-roster invitees. As of today, when the Mets added five in-system invitees (Mazzoni, Montero, Centeno, Satin and den Dekker), there were only four out-of- system invitees (Laffey, Torres, Bixler and Brown with Quintanilla coming soon). Alderson’s first Spring Training in 2011 was likely indicative of his preferred approach when faced with finding a diamond or two in the rough. It produced a field of 10 of the out-of-system variety. The 2012 invitees were also a substantial pool. And why not? With all the 2013 question marks in the outfield, only one outside-the-system non-roster (Andrew Brown) is in play. Seem strange? Well… everything is hanging on the first move. Right now, there are three left-handed hitters (Duda, Nieuwenhuis and Baxter) and two right-handed hitters (Brown and Colin Cowgill) in the OF mix. If they get a big corner OF bat, two will platoon in CF and two in the other corner slot. If they acquire a speedy centerfielder, then Hairston enters the fray in a LF platoon with Duda, since both are really limited to that position. Make no mistake about it, a deal is in the works…
Corner Outfield Options
The first move is whether the Mets can present an appealing package to the D-Backs for Justin Upton or to the Marlins for the Big Fish—Giancarlo Stanton, who is likely way too pricey for the the Citi Field bargain brigade. Hey, if I was running the Fish, I ‘d be burning up the phone lines to JackieZ in Seattle in a Miami minute looking for a slight sweetener to the package they offered the D-backs for Upton. Could the Mets land Justin without either Harvey, Wheeler or d’Arnaud? Perhaps, but not likely. A towering purveyor of talent could wrap up one from each of these pairs: Familia or Meija, Syndergaard or Fullmer, den Dekker or Puello and a shortsop from a rich pool of Mets prospects. While such a deal is unlikely to land Upton, even less might get you Morse (if the Nats are foolish enough to trade within their division). But buyer beware, Big Michael is a giant defensive liability in the Duda mold.
This scribe is far more focused on a speedster, who switch-hits and can rake and run at the top of the order. Dexter Fowler is a legitimate object of desire, but Coco Crisp and Eric Young Jr. would be far less expensive and relatively easy to obtain. Fowler will take a package of prospects something like I proposed for Upton. Billy Moneyball would have to take notice of a Flores and young arm package for Crisp, who is under contract for two seasons at $7 mil per. Valdespin, Turner and a “B” arm could be dangled for Eric Young, who will deliver all the offense of the other two, equal or better speed, but way less glove. The Mets actually need one of these CF-types more than a corner man because once one of these CF guys is brought on-board, Hairston will be signed to platoon with Duda to produce significant offense and pop. A very serviceable RF platoon will be played out between the two lefties (Baxter/Nieuwenhuis) and two righties (Cowgill/Brown). Cowgill plays all the spots well and has the edge.
How Does it Get Done?
The smart play when buying a house is find 3-5 homes that you like (not love) and which meet a great deal of your criteria. Then, make simultaneous offers on all of them, while letting each owner know that you are making the multiple offers. Nothing different here and it is likely going down right now.
Take the best deal for either Fowler or Crisp, sign Hairston and grab Chad Durbin for the pen, Play around with Brian Wilson by offering an incentive laden deal with a generous team option for 2014. Give Wally a rotation of Wheeler, Meija, Gorski, Familia and McHugh and lets play ball with an eye toward winning.
About: Kew Gardens born Dave Mills made his first appearance the day after Willie Mays’ circus catch in the 1954 World Series. He made his first appearance at a Mets game on September 14, 1962, at the Polo Grounds. With the game tied 9-9 in the 9th, Choo Choo (“Bub”) Coleman hit a game-winning walkoff HR and Dave was a baseball junky for life. His company, HawaiiGolfDeals.com is the leading deliverer of golfers to the Aloha State.