I wonder if the Mets are trying to get reliever Shane Greene with 2B Ian Kinsler from the Tigers?
According to MLB.com's Jason Beck, the Tigers are close to trading Kinsler after reportedly holding substantive trade talks the last two weeks with at least the Mets and Angels.
Kinsler has the Mets and nine other teams on his no-trade list, but that's not seen as a deal-breaker if the Tigers agree to send Kinsler to the Mets, reports SNY contributor Andy Martino.
I wrote Tuesday night that that the Mets were on the same page with the Tigers when it came to players, but they were still not in agreement about how to handle Kinsler's $11 million salary.
The next day, Detroit's GM Al Avila said he had exchanged names with teams that have interest in Kinsler, but they had yet to reach an agreement...
Meanwhile, as the Mets haggle with the Tigers over money, they are also in the market for a reliever.
Greene, 29, is under team control and eligible for arbitration the next three years. He is expected to earn $1.7 million next season, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Greene has trouble staying in the strike zone, yet he throws hard and strikes guys out. He was helped toward the end of last season by using his fastball and cutter more instead of his sinker, which had previously been his out-pitch.
In doing so, he was able to work more in the strike zone, which is why he appeared more capable as a closer than he did earlier in the season. For the Mets, he'd fit in well with Jeurys Familia and A.J. Ramos as another battle-tested, hard throwing reliever capable of pitching in high-leverage spots.
I'm sure the Tigers would prefer to keep Greene, who would certainly net them more in his own trade next summer. That said, packaging him with Kinsler could be the most effective way for Detroit to quickly cut payroll and resolve their roster before tomorrow's draft.
I've been hearing all week that the Tigers are eager to trade Kinsler before tomorrow's Rule 5 Draft due to potential moves associated with their 40-man roster.
In regards to the Mets, by acquiring Greene, Kinsler and their respective contracts, Sandy Alderson could effectively get his new second baseman and a right-handed reliever for just $12 million, while sending, say, Robert Gsellman and one or two prospects to Detroit.
Alderson would then have roughly $25-30 million to spend on a first base-outfielder and another reliever and still have room to consider acquiring an inexpensive, everyday center fielder.
The above idea is speculation, by the way. I have no direct evidence that Greene is being targeted. However, given Alderson's need for bullpen help, and knowing he and Detroit are struggling to address Kinsler's money, bundling these two players together seems like an obvious possible solution.
Of course, before agreeing to do it, Detroit will certainly continue to try and lure the Angels (or any other interested team) to take just Kinsler and more money than the Mets want to pay.
If that can't happen, though, I expect they'll call back the Mets and do what has to be done.
In the meantime, Alderson will keep an eye on free agents Neil Walker, Eduardo Nunez, and Zack Cozart, while continuing trade talks for Jason Kipnis (Indians), Josh Harrison (Pirates), or Freddy Galvis or Cesar Hernandez (Phillies).
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Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. He recently left his position as Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for SNY.TV to help sports brands build their own digital content businesses...