The New York Mets have just gone a resounding 1-2 versus their cross-town rivals, the vaunted New York Yankees. As far as seasons go, this is looking more and more like a lost year for the Metropolitans. Players are either injured, leaving town, or both, and nothing seems to be clicking enough to compete with the old Phillies or the young Braves. Change is in the air, and the team will definitely change composition going into 2011. This, all Mets fans know.
Despite an owner who doesn’t know when to shut up (hey! I thought that was supposed to be the Yankees!), the Mets have a couple of useful team pieces that can be converted into future assets. These pieces, in no particular order are: Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Mike Pelfrey (maybe), Johan Santana (maybe), Francisco Rodriguez (maybe), and Taylor Buchholz.
One might also lump David Wright into that category, but one would be an idiot.
While I continue to advocate re-signing Reyes to a long-term deal, even at a 7/$110 type amount, the Mets are hemorrhaging cash and probably won’t pay out to re-sign him. Terrible news, but small-market teams have to deal with this all the time. Best of luck on your next franchise, Jose. Glad we’ve got Jason Bay instead. (sarcasm)
At any rate, I’d like to propose a potential deal that may work out for both sides. It’s not necessarily a GREAT deal…but it is a good one, at least for the Mets. I’d like to think that it’s one that would benefit both teams, but Yankee fans (a notoriously lunatic lot) might disagree. We shall see. Here’s my deal:
The New York Mets trade Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, Taylor Buchholz, and $7 million dollars per year over Santana’s contract to the New York Yankees for Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain, and Dellin Betances.
Why this would be agreeable for the Yankees:
- Carlos Beltran is an immediate upgrade at either DH (over Posada) or RF (over Swisher). He can spell outfield players as well. He’s only on the hook for a single year at this salary.
- Beltran’s salary is nearly cancelled out by cutting loose Posada, leaving a small difference in 2011 payroll between these two players.
- Taylor Buchholz adds another valuable, effective bullpen arm to the team for the next year and a half. This is especially important given question marks in the Yankee rotation.
- The Yankees must add another starter, and even with an injury, Santana may be more effective than any other pitcher on the market. In addition, if the Mets pay part of his salary, he’s not a prohibitively expensive option. Adding another left-hander instead of a right-hander to the Yankee Stadium rotation isn’t a bad idea either.
- Salary, salary, salary. While Santana would be the Mets’ best pitcher when he returns from injury, his cost is no longer worthwhile for a team unlikely to contend in the next two years. Paying a third or so of his remaining cash would be a steal.
- Betances is a legitimate, excellent pitching prospect. While pitching prospects are no certain thing, If he panned out somewhere even close to his potential, he’d be a nice piece for years.
- Posada may not be an effective player any more, but the short-term downgrade from Thole to Posada for 2011 would not be heartbreaking. Posada is a sunk cost for 2011 anyways – if he still can’t hit above .170, the Mets can cut him without incurring the wrath of Jeter, unlike the Yankees.
- Joba Chamberlain has been jerked around since joining the Yankees. A change of scenery might do him good. A lottery ticket, make no mistake about it.
I know that there are plenty of logical reasons why this deal would never happen: Posada’s no-trade clause, the Yankees not wanting to drop Betances, the Yankees not wanting to add that much salary over the next four years, etc. But I have to think that if the Yankees are really serious about catching the Rays and the Sox this year, and that feat IS doable, they’ll have to do something. It may be a pipe dream, but to me it seems that this deal would be a boon for both sides: Yankees in the short term, Mets in the long term.