The July 31st trade deadline is always one of the most exciting stretches of time for fans.
Whether it’s acquiring a front line pitcher like Zack Greinke or a back-up catcher like Kelly Shoppach, fans can’t help but hope their home team improves for the playoff push. The 2013 trade deadline, while 2.5 months away, will be no different.
Here are five players who will likely be on the move this year. Continue reading
The New York Mets offense is struggling. The team has a collective .230/.302/.382 triple-slash, with a .684 OPS–which ranks 26th in the major leagues. However, the real issue is with the Mets’ outfield. Mets’ center fielders have combined for a .530 OPS+ (worst in the majors) and right fielders a .621 (tied for third worst). While Mike Baxter and Andrew Brown, perhaps, deserve a chance to start this season, the Mets need to sign to-be free agent Shin-Soo Choo this coming off-season. Continue reading
Since writing Part 1 of this series, which detailed three hypothetical, arbitration-eligible outfield trade targets, the New York Mets actually acquired an outfielder: Rick Ankiel. Somewhat predictably, Mets fans reacted adversely, as the 33-year-old has become a perennial albatross and trash heap frequenter due to his poor plate approach (26 strikeout percentage, 7.7 walk percentage). What is perhaps most perplexing about the addition is that Ankiel, seemingly, is the complete antithesis of what the Sandy Alderson regime represents in terms of batter patience.
Alas, Rick Ankiel is a Met, at least for the time being. But that hardly means the team will not continue to pursue other outside the organization options. Here are three more pre-arbitration trade targets that the Mets could look to acquire. Continue reading
The Mets’ offense has produced a .696 OPS, which ranks tenth in the National League. The Mets’ outfield is even more worrisome, however. The team’s center fielders have a .501 OPS, and its right fielders a .614 OPS, which rank fourteenth and fifteenth in the National League, respectively.
There are few Mets fans who wouldn’t want the team to add Carlos Gonzalez or Giancarlo Stanton. But while either player would instantly improve the team’s ability to score runs, it seems so unlike the present-day Mets to pull the trigger on such a franchise-altering acquisition. Below, in the first part of a multi-part series, are a few realistic, arbitration-eligible outfield trade targets. Continue reading
It wasn’t too long ago that Nate McLouth was one of the more exciting, young outfielders in baseball. In 2008, McLouth–in his fourth major league season–posted a 125 OPS+, 26 HR, and 23 SB campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The then 26 year-old also led the league with 46 doubles.
Perhaps channeling incredible foresight, the Pirates dealt the recently-extended McLouth mid-2009 to the Atlanta Braves for a package of prospects. At the time, it seemed as though the Braves had acquired a franchise cornerstone–but unfortunately, it couldn’t have been further from the case. Continue reading
The first part of this two-part series detailed a possible extension scenario for Daniel Murphy. Extending him through his final two arbitration and first two free agent seasons would make some sense for the New York Mets, but the organization should simultaneously attempt to generate trade interest for the 28-year-old’s services, too.
The Mets’ farm system is relatively weak in terms of natural second basemen (i.e. Daniel Muno and Branden Kaupe), but the front office has prudently pushed offense-first Wilmer Flores to learn the position at Triple-A this season.
The 21-year-old infielder played 24 games at second base in 2012, and has already logged another 18 at the position so far in 2013. While Flores might never become a plus defender—or even a league average one—his bat could make up for it. At least that’s what the Mets are banking on. Continue reading
Among Mets fans, Daniel Murphy is a contentious player. They are generally split on how to view the 28-year-old infielder. To most, Murphy is a solid-hitting, hard-nosed starting second baseman, who would ideally be a super utility option on a playoff caliber team. To others, however, Murphy conjures up pure contempt. Starkly differing sentiments not withstanding, there is still a case to be made for a contract extension. Continue reading
In 2011, Justin Upton emerged as an elite hitter in the major leagues. Upton, then 23 years old, already had a 26-home run season under his belt, but 2011 was different. His 141 OPS+ ranked just outside the top 10 in the National League, and his 31 home runs were tied for ninth. Upton’s maturation into one of the league’s finest hitters was not a surprise; success was always an expectation.
Upton was the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. After dominating at all levels in the minors, the Arizona Diamondbacks promoted the 19 year-old to the show — where he became a fixture in the Diamondbacks outfield for the next five seasons.
But after a rough 2012 season in which the hitter posted a comparatively mediocre .280/.355/.430 line and just 17 home runs, the formerly untouchable stud became expendable. Continue reading
Matt Harvey has been the toast of town. And rightfully so. The 24-year-old has hurled a 1.54 ERA, 2.39 FIP, and 3.9 K/BB through 35 innings, and has also been victorious in all four of his decisions. Harvey’s dominant performance to date has prompted just about every Mets fan to wonder when the organization will extend the budding ace.
However, according to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal — and much to the chagrin of Mets fans — the Mets haven’t broached the subject yet.
While there is no doubt the Mets should quickly extend Harvey before he starts booking Light ‘N Lively Yogurt ads, the team should also consider locking up his more modestly performing rotation-mate, Dillon Gee. Continue reading