Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer
MLB insiders tell me the Mets match up best with the Rockies, Angels, A’s, Red Sox and Blue Jays, as they look to trade for a power hitter, be it in the outfield, first base or at shortstop.
Colorado’s owner has said he doesn’t plan to trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, which he may firmly believe. However, I’m told by people who know the Rockies well that, while shopping Michael Cuddyer, their GM is willing to move anyone that can help him spend new money and expedite their rebuilding process. The Rockies prefer young hitters, but the goal is to shed payroll.
The Mets and Angels have always seemed set up to work together. The Mets have desirable young pitching, which the Angels want; and the Angels have a variety of players at positions the Mets still need to solve (first base, middle infield and outfield).
I don’t believe Sandy Alderson is particularly interested in 1B Mark Trumbo. However, SS Erick Aybar and 2B Howie Kendrick, who have been available since last winter, should pique his interest. The buzz from LA is that they’re seeking a front-of-the-rotation starting pitcher and not prospects, which sounds like Jon Niese, and I just can’t see the Mets making this type of move given Matt Harvey‘s surgery.
The Blue Jays, similar to the Rockies, could look to move one of their top players, such as Jose Reyes or Jose Bautista, according to local reports. The Mets and Jays hooked up on a major trade last winter, so it’s conceivable they could reunite this winter.
The Mets and Red Sox have reportedly talked several times over the last few years, whether about Carlos Beltran or R.A. Dickey, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, or Sox prospects Jackie Bradley Jr. or Xander Bogaerts.
Lastly, the A’s are always looking to reshuffle the deck, and reportedly will consider moving one or more of their top hitters to add to their young pitching, especially since they have money to spend on a new, mid-tier talent this winter.
I still contend that Alderson’s offseason priority list will be to sign a a handful of free agents to round out the roster, ranging from every-day players or mid-tier guys, a veteran starting pitcher and an inexpensive reclamation project or two, all while talking with teams about trading for a power bat that will have to cost at least one of his pitching prospects. He could also settle and trade a lesser prospect or two for a lesser hitter, which is always possible.
The point is, though there are several other teams looking to do the same thing, he’ll have options and there will be no shortage of rumors starting in a week or so…