Michael Baron, ContributorIn a post to his blog for the Daily News, Andy Martino said the Mets are “monitoring the situations surrounding both Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez.”
“Alderson’s friends and associates say that the GM values power hitting as much as he ever has, and wants a big bat in his lineup,” Martino said.
In regards to Stanton, Martino said it’s not clear whether or not the Mets and Marlins have broached the possibility of a deal, although Martino recently spoke with a Mets official about Stanton who said, “there is heat there.”
Several Mets officials would consider dealing both Travis d’Arnaud and Zack Wheeler in order to acquire Stanton, and Sandy Alderson holds no affinity to either player, Martino said.
Martino also said Alderson is eager to accelerate his plan to put a winning product on the field and is considering any possibility in order to accomplish that.
In addition, Martino said the Mets considered acquiring Cubs OF Alfonso Soriano, and were interested in acquiring OF Andre Ethier from the Dodgers in exchange for R.A. Dickey over the winter.
Meanwhile, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post lists Stanton, Gonzalez and Ethier among seven outfielders the Mets might consider acquiring either this season or next winter.
“They could make an impactful trade even if they’re out of contention,” Davidoff said. “The 1983 Mets were 22-36 and thinking ahead when they acquired [Keith] Hernandez from St. Louis. Or, more conventionally, they could wait until the offseason and contemplate both trades and free-agent signings.”
By no means is Martino suggesting the Mets are going to acquire any of these players anytime soon. Nor does it mean Sandy Alderson is going to trade Wheeler, d’Arnaud, or any other cornerstone prospect in order to get these guys, either. I don’t mean to say the Mets won’t ultimately acquire one or both of these players at some point, but in this hypothetical scenario, I think that when push comes to shove, the Mets will be hard-pressed to deal Wheeler and d’Arnaud to get one of these guys.
In a report for the Daily News in November, a Mets source told John Harper of the Daily News the Mets were not inclined to trade Jon Niese to acquire Royals OF Alex Gordon.
“I’d rather keep the young arms and buy the bats (when the Mets have money to spend next winter),” Harper’s source explained.
What does all of this mean? For starters, it sounds like the Mets would ultimately rather spend only money to acquire their everyday position players instead of trading pitching, although they may consider moving pitchers in order to do so. It also says, a) The Mets hold no loyalties to any one individual currently in the organization, including Wheeler or d’Arnaud; they’re loyal to the betterment of the team only, and b) the Mets are close to taking the next step in this project, which means fortifying their foundation of young talent by filling holes from outside the organization, and c) they’re getting ready to act upon that in the near-term, evident by their pursuit of both Justin Upton and Michael Bourn this past winter. That’s pretty exciting, so long as the decisions to trade some of their prospects to acquire established veterans don’t negate each other in the process. I think the organization is well aware of that possibility, and won’t make any hasty moves just because they now have such an ability.
Alderson’s plan is built around a young crop of exciting pitching prospects, and that resembles Frank Cashen’s plan from the early 1980s. The blueprint clearly isn’t set in stone yet; I do believe the vision includes a group of the arms the Mets have accumulated over the last few seasons along with Niese and Matt Harvey.
I ultimately expect both Wheeler and d’Arnaud to be a part of future clubs at Citi Field, primarily because they’re blue chip talents which are hard to replace in this game. But Alderson has said on several occasions over the winter the Mets have accumulated enough young talent at this point to package in trades to improve other areas — they have other options to deal in order to acquire top-tiered, everyday players that they can’t address from the inside. At some point, the Mets are going to have to deal from their strength to address their weaknesses, and it sounds like that time is now on the horizon.