Marte Trade: No More Square Pegs?
One of my annual blogs is about 'square pegs and round holes'...meaning the Mets former GM seemed to sign kids that were always without a position. Examples like Duda, Murphy, WFLores, Marte, Lutz, Carson, Mejia, Familia....the list could go on. Guys with raw talent but fielders who lacked good defensive skills and pitchers who lack command/focus/a third pitch who were destined to be shuttled around the field or back and forth between #5 starter and relieving. The BA Mets Top 30 Prospects list each year seemed littered with hitters with average to below average defensive skills who were blocked at their primary position [3B, 1B] or lacked the range or arm or instincts [Puello, Nieuwenhuis, Valdespin?] for a skill position...how many backup first basemen and fourth outfielders does a team need? How many mid-level relievers who throw 96 mph but cannot find home plate do you need? You see who Atlanta, Washington, Colorado, Arizona and St. Louis drafted after the Mets picked Havens #22, Javier [who?] Rodriguez #68 and Holt #33 [Friedrich #25--that's who I wanted as the draft unfolded after we got Ike Davis at #19, Schlereth #26, Lance Lynn #39, Kimbrel #96, DEspinosa #87] and you want to know why we cannot get 'lucky' once in awhile. At least we are not losing first round draft picks to sign overpriced free agents [BTW---the Angels got an extra first round pick from us when we signed KRod---they selected Randal Grichuk and Mike Trout with their back-to-back picks at #24 and our #25---our luck we woulda picked Grichuk!...and later in that day we picked Steve Matz #72 while KC took Wil Myers, listed as C/3B at #91].
Trading Marte may be the first of what I would call 'clearinghouse trades' to rid the roster of marginal talents to make room for better 'all around' players. Dumping Nickeas in the RA/TDA trade was also refreshing to see. Look at the 40 man roster from a year ago and now and you will see the Stinsons, Schwindens, Beatos, etc. gone. The perennial AAAA types should be next to go [McHugh, Hampson]. Yes you do need new talent to replace them but I think the FO has set its sights on signing or trading for skilled defensive players who can also hit [D'Arnaud vs. JPA] ---not just one or the other---and pitchers with at least three plus pitches [Wheeler and Syndergaard] and therefore top-of-the-rotation starting potential. They took gambles on Nimmo and Cecchini---we shall see if they pan out---but both are described as steady if not spectacular fielders who could stay at CF and SS and not be forced to LF or 2B when they reach the bigs...keeping their first round value intact if they are above average but not necessarily middle-of-the-order hitters. When there are no more fringe roster fillers you know that we, as a team and an organization, will have arrived.