Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’ll say it again: the Mets and Angels are set up to work together. The Mets have desirable young pitching, which the Angels will certainly want; and the Angels have a variety of players at positions the Mets need to solve (first base, middle infield and outfield).
This past weekend, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports said the Angels may use 2B Howie Kendrick as trade bait to acquire starting pitching this winter. In addition, he says the Angels might also consider dealing both 1B Mark Trumbo and OF Peter Bourjos, although that is less likely since the Angels have more control over those two players than Kendrick.
Last month, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported the Angels were close to dealing Kendrick to the Dodgers at the trade deadline, although a deal was never finalized and the Angels held onto Kendrick.
I’ve talked to people close to the Angels who say the Mets showed interest in Trumbo’s power this summer and last winter, but never felt compelled to make a deal — maybe because of the asking price, or maybe because he doesn’t work counts or get on base very much. The Angels discussed Kendrick and SS Erick Aybar with teams last summer, but I am not sure if the Mets were ever part of those discussions.
I do know the Angels had interest in Jon Niese last winter, and I hear they continue to want a front-line, Major League or MLB-ready starting pitcher for whomever they decide to trade, be it Trumbo, Bourjos, Kendrick or Aybar.
That said, eventually the Mets are going to have to make this type of deal, since it’s the best way to pick up multiple, productive players in one shot, without having to dish out a series of overpriced, long-term, free-agent contracts. I’m not saying it has to happen today, or that it has to be the Angels, but it does seem like New York and Los Angeles/Anaheim have a match.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Kendrick has always been a solid and consistent offensive player, proving to be a steady top-of-the-order presence for the Angels. The thing is, he’s essentially an older, more expensive version of Daniel Murphy, except he’s a right-handed hitter and plays slightly better defensively.
Trumbo also has holes in his game. He is a better first baseman than he is an outfielder, so I wonder if the Mets would be interested in him primarily for first base. He has proven he can hit for power hitting 31 home runs this season, which would have made him one of the most productive hitters for the Mets this season. However, he has struck out nearly four times more than as he’s walked, which is pretty much inline with his career trend. There’s no question his bat could be a nice complementary piece for a future Mets lineup, but he should certainly not be considered a centerpiece by any means.
Read more: CBS Sports