New York Mets: Make the call Sandy

Make the Call, Sandy: Jurickson Profar

October, 24, 2013
10/24/13
10:00
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Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty ImagesJurickson Profar would be an appealing player for the Mets to pursue.

This offseason will be a pivotal one for the Mets as the team has both money to spend and needs to fill. But not all will be solved by shopping for free agents. Sandy Alderson may have to make a trade or two to net the kind of player the Mets want and need.

Among those they would have interest in are Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. But those players are not on the market.

Who might be available from a “pie in the sky” perspective for you to pine for this winter? The past two days, we’ve weighed in on the top potential hitter and pitcher trade targets. Today we look at the top potential prospect and allow you to weigh in on whether Alderson should make the call to pursue a deal.


SportsNation

Should Sandy Alderson pursue a deal for Jurickson Profar?

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    63%
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    37%

Discuss (Total votes: 2,056)

Today’s candidates: Jurickson Profar
Position: Shortstop
Age: turns 21 in February
Height: 6-0
Weight: 165
2013 Numbers: .234 BA, 6 HRs in 85 games with Rangers

Why he would be available: The Rangers have two legit players who both play shortstop in Profar and Elvis Andrus. They have other needs to fill as they try to avoid a repeat of the past two seasons in which they were eliminated in the wild-card game, and the one-game tiebreaker.

Pros: Keith Law named Profar his No. 1 prospect in baseball in his top-100 rankings last season, writing:

“Profar is the best prospect in the minors this year thanks to an incredible combination of tools, skills and baseball instincts rarely found in players who play in the middle of the field. His feel for the game is unusual for a player of any age, much less a teenager, and should put another nail in the coffin of the old saw that American-born players have better instincts.”


Profar is all about potential. He averaged 13 homers and 20 steals in full seasons in Single-A and Double-A in 2011 and 2012. There aren’t a lot of shortstops who can do that in the major leagues.

Profar got 286 at-bats in 2013 and the results were mixed: a .234 batting average, .644 OPS and two steals in six attempts. He hit .188 in 96 at-bats against left-handed pitching.

However, it’s not as though Profar was wildly swinging. His chase rate was just a hair more than major-league average, and his rate of missing on swings was only 16 percent, 6 percentage points less than league average.

Cons: There is always the possibility that Profar’s potential goes unfilled.

While it’s likely that Profar would improve significantly upon those numbers as he gets comfortable in the major leagues, there is no guarantee. The Mets would be putting a lot of reliance on Profar and Travis d'Arnaud, two players high on potential at up-the-middle positions.

The cost: Herein lies a huge obstacle for the Mets. The Rangers are looking to trade for players that can help them win now. Profar could be a key player in a deal for someone like the Rays ace, Price.

The Mets would have a hard time competing with that unless the Rangers were really enamored with someone like Zack Wheeler.

Should Sandy “make the call?” There’s no harm in inquiring about Profar, though the Rangers would probably steer the Mets toward Andrus. The problem there is a financial one: Andrus is making about $6.5 million in 2014, but then will receive either $14 million or $15 million in each of the next eight years.

What do you think? Should the Mets pursue a trade for Jurickson Profar, and if so, what should they give up? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Make the Call, Sandy: Jose Bautista

October, 23, 2013
10/23/13
10:00
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Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesJose Bautista would be an ideal fit for the Mets if the Blue Jays were willing to move him.

This offseason will be a pivotal one for the New York Mets as the team has both money to spend and needs to fill. But not all will be solved by shopping for free agents. Sandy Alderson may have to make a trade or two to net the kind of player the Mets want and need.

Among those they would have interest in are Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies, and Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. But those players are not on the market.

Who might be available from a “pie in the sky” perspective for you to pine for this winter? We take a look at a few possibilities and allow you to weigh in on whether Alderson should make the call to pursue a deal.


SportsNation

Should Sandy Alderson pursue a deal for Jose Bautista?

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    58%
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    42%

Discuss (Total votes: 3,152)

Today’s candidate: Jose Bautista
Position: Outfielder
Age: 33
Height: 6-0
Weight: 190
2013 Numbers: .259 BA, .358 OBP, .498 slug pct, 28 HRs in 118 games for Blue Jays

Why he would be available: Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal has noted that the Blue Jays have indicated a willingness to listen to offers for their premier offensive players -- Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Bautista has a friendly contract in that his team is on the hook for two years and $28 million, with a $14 million club option in 2016.

Pros: Bautista is exactly the type of hitter that manager Terry Collins was describing when he made an end-of-season wish for someone who could hit behind David Wright.

Bautista has the best home run rate in the majors over the past four seasons, averaging one every dozen at-bats, and he’s equally adept at hitting them on the road as he was in hitter-friendly Rogers Centre. Bautista doesn’t hit many cheap home runs.

Via Hittrackeronline.com, all but one of his homers this season would have gone out of at least half the major league ballparks.

Bautista is also a hitter who is careful not to chase bad pitches. His strikeout total is reasonable and his 13 percent walk rate in 2013 ranked among the top dozen hitters in the game.

Though Bautista doesn’t cover a lot of ground in right field, he makes up for it because his throwing arm is a deterrent to baserunners. Despite the time missed due to injuries, Bautista’s arm rated second-best among right fielders per defensive runs saved (which looks at how often baserunners advanced an extra base when an outfielder fielded a ball).

We’re not the first to point out Bautista’s appeal. He’s a popular choice among fans and other blogs. Expect to hear his name on talk shows and other venues this winter.

Cons: There is some risk involved in dealing for Bautista. He has played in 210 of 324 games the past two seasons due to injuries and missed the end of 2013 due to a hip injury. At 33, he may have reached the age of decline/breakdown, and the Blue Jays may want to cash in while they still can.

Though Bautista is a great power hitter, he doesn’t hit for a high average. He has hit .241 and .259 the past two seasons and has a lifetime batting average of .254 in more than 3,600 at-bats.

The cost: We asked ESPN Insider Jim Bowden, the former general manager of the Reds and Nationals, what the potential cost would be to land Bautista. He came up with the idea of a package that included Jonathon Niese and two prospects, one being Cesar Puello (the idea being to return a power-hitting prospect to the Blue Jays). We imagine the other prospect would have to be one of the Mets' higher-end youngsters, though that’s just a guess.

Should Sandy “make the call”? If you were going to describe the skill sets of what the Mets were looking to obtain this offseason, a player of Bautista’s caliber would be near the top of the list. This is one we would encourage the Mets to be aggressive in pursuing, if for no other reason than to show that they are serious about bringing in a couple of legit hitters.

What do you think? Should the Mets pursue a trade for Jose Bautista, and if so, what should they give up? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Make the Call, Sandy: David Price

October, 22, 2013
10/22/13
5:00
PM ET
Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesDavid Price would certainly be an attention-getting grab for the Mets.

This offseason will be a pivotal one for the Mets as the team has both money to spend and needs to fill. But not all will be solved by shopping for free agents. Sandy Alderson may have to make a trade or two to net the kind of player the Mets want and need.

Among those they would have interest in are Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki from the Rockies and Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins. But those players are not on the market.

Who might be available from a "pie in the sky" perspective for you to pine for this winter? We take a look at a few possibilities and allow you to weigh in on whether Alderson should make the call to pursue a deal.


SportsNation

Should Sandy Alderson pursue a deal for David Price?

  •  
    59%
  •  
    41%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,823)

Today's candidate: David Price
Position: Starting Pitcher
Age: 28 (turns 29 in August)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 220
2013 Numbers: 10-8, 3.33 ERA in 27 starts for Rays

Why he would be available: The Rays have a history of trading pitchers two years prior to their hitting free agency in order to net the best return. They've done so recently with both James Shields and Matt Garza. Price now has two seasons left before free agency and he figures his days with the Rays are done.

Pros: Price's appeal is obvious. He is among the game's top starting pitchers over the last four seasons. He has a 3.02 ERA over the last four seasons (in which he's averaged 31 starts) pitching for a team in the hitter-heavy AL East. He has very good strikeout numbers, an AL-low walks per nine in 2013 and doesn't allow a lot of home runs. He's in the prime of his career and has significant big-game experience.

There isn't much to dislike, especially considering how well Price pitched after returning from a triceps injury (a 2.53 ERA in his last 18 starts of the season).

Cons: The Mets would only have Price for two years, unless they wanted to sign him to a contract along the lines of what Justin Verlander is getting (he's due $160 million over the next six seasons) or Clayton Kershaw may get (the rumor mill says a $30 million per year deal). And for one of those years, the Mets wouldn't have Matt Harvey (recovering from surgery) to provide a 1-2 punch to the rotation.

The Mets have a history of making blockbuster deals for premier left-handed starters (Mike Hampton and Johan Santana) but the circumstances of those trades was different in that the Mets were prime pennant contenders the years those deals were made. A deal for Price would be one step towards contention, but many others would still be necessary. The Mets might not have the inventory to make all the deals they want.

The cost: We asked ESPN Insider and former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden what the cost would be to land Price. He pointed out that the demand will be high and that in order for the Mets to compete, the deal would almost surely have to include Zack Wheeler as the primary chip.

Should Sandy "make the call?" This would be a more logical consideration if Harvey were healthy and the Mets could take a shot at Price knowing that he'd have company atop the rotation. We say pass, not because of the quality of the player, but because the price (pardon the pun) would not be right.

What do you think? Should the Mets pursue a trade for David Price, and if so, what should they give up? Share your thoughts in the comments.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187