In a post earlier today on MetsBlog, SNY contributor Andy Martino said it will be difficult for the Mets to top competing offer for Marlins 2B Dee Gordon or Indians 2B-CF Jason Kipnis.
According to Martino, even if Alderson is to offer RHP Robert Gsellman, OF Brandon Nimmo, 1B prospect Dominic Smith and a second minor leaguer, such as infield prospect Luis Guillorme, it still might not be enough to get a deal done with the Marlins or Twins.
I think Martino is right -- at least for now.
The Marlins will continue to hold an elevated asking price on Gordon so long as they feel confident in their ability to trade Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins reportedly plan to cut as much as $65 million from next year's payroll. The quickest way to get under budget will be to rid themselves of Stanton's $295 million contract, which will pay him $26 million next season.
However, Stanton has a full no-trade clause and can opt out of his current contract after 2020. So, finding a deal that meets his and the acquiring team's needs may take time, and require the Marlins to accept less talent in trade and/or eat part of his mega salary.
Therefore, if Miami doesn't get (or doesn't think they'll get) the necessary salary relief they're looking for by dealing Stanton, my hunch is they'll end up giving Gordon away to the first time willing to take him and all $38 million due to him between now and 2020.
This is partly why I fear Stanton and Gordon could eventually get sent to the same team in the same deal. For instance, the Blue Jays and Angles have reportedly expressed interest in Stanton. Also, both teams are in the market for a second baseman.
Similarly, if the Dodgers are eager to get Stanton, how long until they offer to also acquire Gordon and the duo's collective contracts, while sending a collection of prospects, a pitcher or two and infielder Chris Taylor to Miami? We've seen this before, especially when one team is desperate (typically the Marlins), and the other has seemingly unlimited resources, such as the Yankees and Dodgers.
The Mets don't have time to wait on the Marlins, especially with the Dodgers and their checkbook lingering in the background. This is why I'm starting to prefer that Alderson go after Kipnis, Twins 2B Brian Dozier, or Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler, all of whom will require less work to get than Gordon.
In return for Kipnis, NY Post reporter Joel Sherman recently suggested the Mets trade Gsellman and Guillorme to Cleveland, who (to get Gsellman) would need to pay a portion of Kipnis's contract.
Kipnis is due $30 million the next two years, after which he has a $14 million team option.
Sherman believes a similar two-player package would be enough to acquire Dozier and Kinsler, though each may be less attractive to the Mets because they're both free agents after next season.
This week at the GM Meetings in Orlando, front office staffs will meet with other front office staffs and determine everyone's wants, needs and player value sets. They'll then use the next few weeks to get additional information, 'have dialogue,' and get a read on each market in advance of the more-crazy and newsy MLB Winter Meetings, which are scheduled for early-December and also in Orlando.
The Mets know getting Gordon isn't a straight shot, which is why (unless they currently have a trade lined up to get him) I don't expect to hear much about him beyond the next few days.
Instead, my hunch is we will soon start hearing about Alderson showing interest in at least the Twins, Indians, and free-agent infielders Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez. Because, despite multiple teams having interest in Gordon, there are more productive, more affordable and signiciantly-less complicated options to be had.
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...