Thursday, April 21, 2011

Minors Must Be Accompanied By Adult

With Reyes in the final year of his contract, the Wilpons in denial about their need to get out of Dodge and the Mets floundering at the worst record in baseball, I wanted to look at teams who might have a good package of players to offer the Mets. First I'll identify teams who have a need for Jose Reyes and who the Mets COULD trade with. Then I'll see who has the players in the farm to interest the Mets in MAKING a deal.

Why am I doing this on a Friday? Fridays are for minors and I'm looking into the minors for many other teams to find trade partners. If you want an update on the Met's minor leaguers, visit Toby's blog and check it out. The news has been good.

The Long List:

Arizona Diamondbacks - They have Stephen Drew. No
Atlanta Braves - They need a SS in 2012 and may like Reyes' future more than waiting for a prospect. The issue is that Atlanta is not going to trade good prospects to a division rival and the Mets are not going to trade Reyes to Atlanta. No
Baltimore Orioles - Hardy isn't the answer but they already have THE top SS prospect so I can't see them biting. No
Boston Redsox - Jed Lowrie is on fire and they ALSO have Jose Iglesias and too many guys who hit lead-off. Boston is a possibility if only because they can afford to move Iglesias for a surer thing. Yes
Chicago Cubs - They have Starlin Castro. No
Chicago White Sox - They have Alexei Ramirez. No
Cincinnati Reds - They have the need at SS and no great internal solution. Yes
Cleveland Indians - They have Asdrubal Cabrera and if they are buyers, I'd bet he's playing plenty well. No
Colorado Rockies - Troy Tulowitzki is there and that means it's obvious. No
Detroit Tigers - The Tigers finances are already stretched and they have a fine SS. No Florida Marlins - Hanley Ramirez is not being moved to make room for Jose. No Houston Astros - The Astros would love Bourn and Reyes hitting together but have no reason to spend in 2011. No
Kansas City Royals - Not after they traded for Alcides Escobar. No
Los Angeles Angels - Alright, so they have Aybar, and he's fine, but they'd love Reyes and they can make trades using a pretty solid farm. Yes
Los Angeles Dodgers - They have Furcal, but even so... Tom Gordon's son is ready to replace Rafael and Bud Selig is not looking to spend on a big long-term contract now that he controls the team. No
Milwaukee Brewers - Milwaukee is interesting but hard to see happening. They have the need for Jose, they'll be in contention, and they will likely free up money because Fielder will walk. Maybe
Minnesota Twins - They are in an awful funk but even assuming they recovered and were buyers I don't think Reyes is a Twins-type move. No
New York Yankees - Derek Jeter has a few more years left but do the Yankees want to deal with his declining range and arm? Yes
Oakland Athletics - They could easily be in contention and looking to upgrade over Cliff Pennington. Would the Athletics part with prospects like Grant Green and a pitcher to get Reyes on their team? Maybe
Philadelphia Phillies - Rollins is set to walk and DEFINITELY in the growing twilight of a good career. Alderson would be assassinated if he made a move like that. No
Pittsburgh Pirates - Pirates spend money? Well... let's just think about the fact that their lineup is starting to have signs of growth and that they do have an opening at short for Reyes. Maybe (Probably Not)
San Diego Padres - Jason Bartlett is all they can afford at that position. No
San Francisco Giants - With Miggy not a long-term answer for anyone, I'd imagine that the Giants will be on top of the Mets to see what can be worked out. Yes
Seattle Mariners - I can't see the Mariners as buyers so I can't even make this a thought. No
St. Louis Cardinals - St. Louis has bigger problems but if they are close they might offer a good package for Reyes to win again before Pujols leaves. Probably Not
Tampa Bay Rays - Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez seem to not be the greatest fits for the team and they'd love Reyes to hit in front of Longoria but the money is an issue and a long-term deal is unlikely. Maybe
Texas Rangers - Andrus is already like Reyes but younger. No
Toronto Blue Jays - On the one hand they need a lead-off hitter like Reyes but on the other they are squared away with Yunel Escobar. No
Washington Nationals - Not with Ian Desmond. No

The Short List:

Boston Red Sox -
The biggest reasons Boston wouldn't make a trade are the success of Jed Lowrie and the presence of Jose Iglesias. It does seem to follow logic of recent Boston teams that trading for Reyes would at least be an option. The concept requires Lowrie to not be doing well and Iglesias not ready to help with a playoff push, but it's possible. The Mets should not get TOO excited if Iglesias is the big part of the trade package as I'm not sold on him being much more of a hitter than Ruben Tejada.
Cincinnati Reds - Zack Cozart doesn't strike me as a replacement to Reyes or anything to hinge a trade on. HE DOES have a mix of power and speed but he's not going to turn into Troy Tulowitzki. The average looks like it'll be around .250 in the majors and I don't know how well the other numbers will translate.
Los Angeles Angels - Brandon Wood is probably not going to excite the Mets too much, but he might be the logical choice as a part of a larger package. Though L.A. could easily also go with an offer that included the safer Erick Aybar. The Mets would need to hinge the package on other prospects. Don't you dare mention Mike Trout, they aren't trading Tim Salmon's illegitimate son. However the Mets might inquire on Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Walden and others.
Milwaukee Brewers - The Brewers don't have a good SS prospect to match but I suppose Baseball America named Scooter Gennet 2B/SS their #4 prospect for 2011. Frankly the top 4 are all doing miserably, but Milwaukee is doing well and could use Reyes so I wouldn't count them out.
New York Yankees - The Mets would have their choice of lovely catching prospects but that doesn't help when they'd need pitching and a SS. The good news is that the Yankees have several pitchers of note. Now... two of them have had bad starts but I'd wager to say the Yankees would be in the mix if Reyes were available.
Oakland Athletics - Oakland has Grant Green in their farm and he's a good prospect. That might preclude them from dealing for Reyes alone. What Oakland doesn't have is a "Star". People don't line up for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Oakland's pitching staff is solid and they ALWAYS have more prospects down the pipe. If I'm the Mets Mr. Green MUST be part of the deal if I trade.
Pittsburgh Pirates - They have two things going for them right now. They have a talented farm and they are starting to build a talented team. Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen are a good core, but imagine adding a star like Reyes to the team and the kind of boost he'd be to the fans. On the side of what they have to offer, look at Chase D'Arnaud who doesn't WOW me and a boat load of pitchers including Jeff Locke but excluding James Taillon... they aren't trading him.
San Francisco Giants - I've come up with two SS's Brandon Carwford and Ehire Adrianza and a pitcher, Zack Wheeler. Crawford looks like the better prospect and Wheeler looks good but expendable in an over-stocked pitching system. Crawford isn't ready for the majors yet and Tejada is not going to last, so it might make sense to see a swap for the Mets nabbing Crawford and pitching and the Giants getting Reyes. Maybe we could include K-Rod as the Giants wouldn't need to let him close?
Tampa Bay Rays - Plenty of reasons to not do it. They don't have a great shot at holding onto Reyes and they are in the toughest division in baseball. HOWEVER, if they got him he'd make the team an instant top contender again. The other half against the likelihood is that they have TWO good SS prospects. Do the Rays get itchy for another run at glory and cut a deal. They have the pieces to trade and could easily hold onto either Tim Beckham or Hak-Ju Lee and let Reyes walk. I could see them thinking about it.

I'd say that the Giants and Reds probably match up best in terms of need/offer. With pretty good prospects in their systems at SS they can both make trades to appeal to the Mets. Perhaps later this year I'll venture what the packages offered might be.


AndrewOom said...

Tigers SS is not fine. And their finances are solid enough that they have spending flexibility, and will be better after the Red Wings make their epic playoff run and everyone buys Little Caesar's Pizza.

There's already talk of looking for SS solutions, because Jhonny is not it.

Phlavio said...

@ Mr. Oom,

I can't see the Tigers as major players for Reyes. Peralta is a better option than many teams have and I don't think that he's the force that will kill your 2011.