Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
I’m open to trading Travis d’Arnaud.
I think he’s got a lot of ability. However, he hasn’t sold me, and you can’t get something for nothing. So, if a team a team wants him in the right deal, I’d probably do it.
D’Arnaud ended 2013 hitting .202 with one home run and five RBI in 105 at bats.
Terry Collins said last week that he believes d’Arnaud is more capable of putting the ball in play than he’s shown to date, but it may require a full spring training and season in the big leagues to really see what he can do.
“Too many people have told me he can hit,” Collins said, suggesting it is way too early to judge d’Aranud’s ability.
Sandy Alderson told WFAN he felt d’Aranud hit better toward the end of the season.
“I think at this stage, we’re locked in to d’Arnaud, and we’re reasonably comfortable with that,” the GM said.
Last week in the Daily News, John Harper said the Rockies will listen to offers for Troy Tulowizki in an effort to speed up their rebuilding process, according to people familiar with the team’s thinking.
The 28-year-old Tulowitzki has seven years and $134 million left on his contract.
Harper proposes trading d’Arnaud, Dillon Gee and Rafael Montero to get him, an idea that was not outright rejected when pitched to a Mets source.
In a poll to MetsBlog last week, 58 percent of roughly 7,000 Mets fans said they’d do this deal… and I agree. I would pull the trigger, too.
Tulowitzki will make $16 million next year, $20 million each of the next four years, then back to $14 million in 2020, at which point his option can be bought out for $4 million. I don’t think a lot of teams will be interested in taking on that deal, so my guess is the Mets might be able to get Colorado to include some money by putting d’Arnaud in the deal. Colorado’s motivation is to rid themselves of payroll, while acquiring a young offensive player to sell to their fans. I think this trade does that. The Rockies currently have Wilin Rosario behind the plate and a young catcher among their top 20 prospects in Tom Murphy, who is their sixth-best minor league player, according to MLB.com.
The opportunity to acquire the best player at his position should never be ignored. If I could get Tulowitzki, at what amounts to six years and $16 million a season, without giving up Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard, I’d do it in a second.
“We have to be open-minded,” the source told Harper. “We have to be ready to be creative.”
Maggie Wiggin, Contributor
I doubt Colorado would make this trade since Tulowitzki is one of the elite hitters in the National League, but I would definitely make d’Arnaud the centerpiece of a deal for an established hitter of his caliber, though only if it meant our top-tier pitching prospects were off-limits. The concern about Tulowitzki is always his health, but it’s worth remembering that catchers generally aren’t able to put together a full season of at-bats due to the need for extra rest and the risk of injury, so the potential loss of playing time wouldn’t have as big an impact. All this is likely moot, though, because I suspect any eventual deal for Tulowitzki will include two blue chip prospects plus other pieces and I just don’t see the Mets making a trade like that at this point of the franchise’s development.
Andrew Wharton, Contributor
I’d make this move if and only if d’Arnaud is the only top prospect being dealt. In other words, I’m not willing to give up Wheeler or Syndergaard. I do believe d’Arnaud can eventually become a .900 OPS hitter, but he plays a position that is likely to shorten his prime, subject him to more injuries, and require more days off. Tulowitzki isn’t exactly a poster child for health, and he comes with risks and will cost a lot of money, but he’s a proven All-Star and he’ll be just 29 years old next season. If you want a middle-of-the-order bat to protect David Wright, Tulowitzki is as good as they get. Coors Field or not, the guy can flat-out hit while playing a premier defensive position.
Michael Baron, Contributor
Tulowitzki is a premier talent, but he has had trouble staying on the field in recent seasons, and that is quite a concern especially since Tulowitzki tows a large contract behind him. The last thing the Mets need to do is acquire someone who can only give them 100-120 games – they need players who can play end-to-end as they head into the future. That’s not to say Tulowitzki won’t come here and stay healthy. He might, and he might for the rest of his contract. But because of that uncertainty, the Mets – or any team – needs to be careful about the talent they surrender to acquire him. Besides, considering there is so much uncertainty with Matt Harvey, the Mets really can ill-afford to deal any of their elite arms to acquire talent, whether it’s Tulowitzki or not.