Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets have had trade discussions with the Indians about Francisco Lindor and discussions with the Astros about Carlos Correa. Both of those players are tremendous talents, with Lindor offering more certainty and Correa being a player you can dream on.
While Lindor and Correa would both be franchise-altering additions for the Mets, neither -- due to what it would take to trade for them and the limited team control they have -- is a perfect fit. Nor is Mookie Betts, who will earn close to $28 million in 2020 before being eligible for free agency.
If the Mets want Betts, they can simply sign him after the 2020 season. And with Steve Cohen's billions potentially in play by some point in the 2020 season, it isn't that far-fetched to think the Mets could do it.
For right now, though, the player it makes the most sense for the Mets to swing for the fences on is Nolan Arenado.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Rockies potentially trading Arenado "no longer seems like a preposterous idea."
In Rosenthal's column on Thursday, he wrote how Rockies owner Jeff Bridich has not ruled out trading Arenado and how the opt-out clause in Arenado's contract after the 2021 season was put in place by Bridich so the Rockies and Arenado could see if they "share a vision going forward."
If the Rockies do wind up making Arenado available and he is willing to eliminate the opt-out from his contract as a condition of a trade (a scenario Rosenthal suggests), the Mets should pounce.
With Arenado, the Mets would be getting a 28-year-old who is elite on both sides of the ball and under team control through the 2026 season.
They would be getting a player who has slashed .295/.351/.546 during his seven-year career while averaging 36 homers, 40 doubles, and just 104 strikeouts per 162 games played.
They would be getting a seven-time Gold Glove award winner and five-time All-Star who has finished in the Top 10 in MVP voting each of the last five seasons.
They would be getting another infield cornerstone to go along with Pete Alonso.
Like Lindor or Correa or Betts, the Mets would be getting a franchise-altering talent. But Arenado -- if he is willing to eliminate the opt-out --would be in Queens through 2026.
As is the case with most players who call Coors Field home, Arenado has home/road splits that are rather stark. His career slugging percentage at home is .615 and just .476 on the road. In 2019, he slugged a ridiculous .645 at home and a still-elite .521 on the road.
While those splits should give any team a tiny bit of pause, it should also be noted that while Rockies players benefit from playing at Coors Field, they are also at a disadvantage due to having to adjust to different air qualities each time they leave the thin air of Colorado to go on the road.
In any event, it's fair to say that any team would rightly gamble on Arenado remaining a beast if he no longer played his home games at Coors.
For the Mets, trading for Arenado would allow them to shift Jeff McNeil to left field and give them the option of trading J.D. Davis to fill other needs. And with Arenado in tow, the Mets' Opening Day lineup in 2020 could look something like this:
1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
2. Jeff McNeil, LF
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
4. Pete Alonso, 1B
5. Michael Conforto, RF
6. Wilson Ramos, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Amed Rosario, SS
9. Jacob deGrom, RHP
As far as what it would it take to make the above dream a reality, that would depend on how much of the money due to Arenado the Rockies would be willing to absorb and the kind of prospects they would prioritize getting in return.
For the Mets, it could likely mean letting go of some combination of Brett Baty, Matthew Allan, Ronny Mauricio, and Francisco Alvarez -- arguably their four most highly coveted prospects, all of whom have blue chip potential.
When it comes to how Arenado could fit financially, that's a different story. And the Mets might have to clear some money off the books in 2020 in order to make it work. But whether it's Arenado or another franchise-altering move, the Mets need to go for it.
As the Nationals, Braves, and Phillies have all made big additions this offseason, the Mets have not made one impact move. That needs to change if they hope to contend for the NL East title in 2020 and be a force in 2021 and beyond.