The MLB offseason is still very much in its infancy. As with any other offseason, the activity level likely won’t change until the winter meetings in Florida between December 9 and 12.
That’s good news for Mets fans, especially those who might already be penciling in Brandon Allen to bat sixth in the Opening Day lineup. A lot of attention has already been placed on what free agents the Mets should go after, and rightfully so, with the belief that the team will spend money.
But that money, combined with some exported talent, can also be spent on players to acquire via trade. If money isn't an issue, the players being shipped might be. Here are five players and how the Mets should look to include or exclude them in any potential deals.
- Must Keep: Matt Harvey: With apologies to David Wright and Zack Wheeler, Harvey is really the one player the Mets shouldn't even consider trading. He’s young, he’s cheap, and he’s great. He’s also recovering from surgery. It might make sense to trade a young superstar pitcher before he gets hurt, but it makes zero sense to trade one after he’s hurt. Which leads us to our next pivotal player.
- Should Keep: Zack Wheeler: Noah Syndergaard makes sense here, too, but simply by virtue of already having held his own at the major league level, Wheeler should be a notch above him on the hang-up-the-phone list. Wheeler is a keeper, but if trading him means the Mets get a similarly valued outfielder, it would be difficult to say no.
- Neutral: Daniel Murphy: Murph had another solid season at second base for the Mets in 2013. He’s going to be 29 next season and is roughly average across the board, except for an out-of-nowhere incredible season on the basepaths last year (8th overall by FanGraphs BsR). The Mets still control him for two more years, and while he can help them those years, the team could also benefit from cashing in on a career-high 3.0 fWAR season.
- Should Trade: Ike Davis: The former first-round draft pick has shown stretches of brilliance but more recent stretches of disappointment. Giving Ike one last chance to revert to his 2010-2011 and second half of 2012 form might not kill the team, but it could kill what little value he has left. Let him be someone else’s problem and remember his woeful 2013 if he happens to bounce back in another city. Much of this applies to Lucas Duda as well.
- Must Get Rid Of: Ruben Tejada: This one is tough, and that’s not a good thing. The easy answer is probably Jordany Valdespin, but we’re talking trades here, not non-tenders. Tejada is young, plays a difficult position, and has shown enough skill that teams might consider him an average regular. The Mets don’t seem to like his work ethic, and the shortstop’s potential grievance puts another log on the LOLMets fire. Trading Tejada won’t make that problem go away, but it might save some face, if there’s any left to be saved.