Nolan Arenado in a Mets jersey has long been the dream of choice for Mets fans tucking themselves into bed at night. It’s a lofty one for sure, despite the Mets’ history of acquiring big-name infielders from the west. And now, we have some movement.
I have long been a skeptic about whether or not Arenado would make a good fit on the Mets roster, and more importantly on the Mets payroll. While I understand that there might be those of you out there who think that’s insane, it’s not. Every team makes decisions based on payroll, including the Colorado Rockies, who are trying to dump the remaining $199 million dollars of Arenado’s 8-year extension. That’s not a simple amount of money.
With an average annual value (AAV) of $33.1 million for the next six seasons, Arenado has a large price tag that brings some questions about the Mets’ future into play.
- Can the Mets acquire Arenado and still extend Michael Conforto?
- If Arenado’s a Met, then how much longer will Noah Syndergaard stay in Queens?
- What if Arenado opts out after the 2021 season?
- Are we now out of the George Springer and Trevor Bauer Sweepstakes?
- What do we do with J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil if Arenado’s parked at third for the next six years?
There’s a lot to consider.
So let’s consider it.
If the Mets were to put together a deal that would bring the Colorado Rockies All-Star third baseman to Flushing, what does that deal look like? Here are some things that would likely need to happen in order to make this deal a reality.
Brett Baty becomes a Colorado Rockie
So this one seems the most like a no-brainer. Brett Baty was the Mets’ first-round pick in the 2019 Draft, and if trading a recently drafted prospect for an expensive contract makes you uneasy, I get it. Giving up youth and team control is a lot, especially when you’re getting a large contract that will more than likely depreciate.
Baty is a solid bat, who has shown some flashes of the power he had in high school, but it’s still a bit early to determine how he’ll fare in the majors. In his first season in the Mets system, at the Rookieball level, Baty slashed .234/./368/.452, with an OPS of .820. That is fine. It’s a good barometer of where he’s at coming into the professional game.
According to MLB.com, Baty’s major league ETA is 2022, which gives him another two seasons to work out the bugs in Single-A and Double-A. The latter of those seasons will show us what kind of player he’ll become. Being the third-best prospect in the Mets system and the sixth best third base prospect in the league is high praise. That’s something that should catch the Rockies’ attention.
If Arenado is going to be dressing in Orange and Blue, then Baty’s heading to Colorado.
Robinson Cano has to go too
Robinson Cano was the last big-name player the Mets bought for a sack of prospects. Things haven’t gone as well as hoped. Now that Cano’s suspended and won’t return until 2022, with two years remaining on his contract this might be the time to send him packing.
And if the Rockies are interested in rebuilding and getting out from under Arenado’s contract, they’ll have to eat Cano’s, which is significantly shorter.
On the flip side, if the Rockies were to get Cano, they’d be bringing veteran experience onto the squad. Colorado would also get a guy who is desperate to fix his image as he rides off into the sunset. Win-win right there.
Cano has a good bat. He’s always been a great hitter, and Coors Field would play to those strengths. While he might not be the guy he once was, he’ll be a great stopgap on the way to a brighter future for the Rockies franchise.
Brandon Nimmo goes to Colorado too
I saw this tweeted out by SNY and it makes the most sense. Nimmo’s a great outfielder, with great plate discipline and decent speed. As Charlie Blackmon transitions to a corner outfield spot, Nimmo can take over in center. It adds incentive for Colorado to take the deal, and rebuild itself into a contender with solid pieces coming their way.
In Queens, this move does two things. It opens up centerfield for George Springer if the Mets are truly in on the former Astro. They should be. If the Mets don’t end up with Springer, moving Nimmo for Arenado frees up two outfield spots for J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil.
I have long been a believer in Jeff playing center. He’s got the glove, the speed, and the skill to transition, he’s just never had the chance. Keeping Davis in left frees up third base for the incoming Arenado, and keeps everyone in the lineup with minimal change.
To keep the status quo of the Mets lineup and add Arenado, Nimmo has to be a part of the deal. The path to freeing up space on the roster runs through centerfield.
An Actual Miracle
The odds of this happening are so slim, you guys. The Mets have been burned by dealing prospects and their future in the name of bringing in a big bat and an even bigger contract. Seriously, this is a Bordie van Wagenen trade, and we’ve just now begun the Sandy Alderson Renaissance.
I have not been a fan of the Mets trading for big-name players if it means giving up prospects. However, this move very much makes the Mets better. It would create a logjam at third for Brett Baty, so dealing him for Arenado is almost a given. Shipping off Cano closes the door on one of the worst deals the Mets have made. Actually no, it could be one of the worst deals ever. We don’t even know how bad it could become in the future.
I’ve never been a fan of these kinds of deals, but this one… I love it.
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