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Mets trade rumors: What's Dillon Gee worth on the market?

With a pitching surplus, the Mets are reportedly inclined to trade Gee.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The Mets currently have more major league starting pitchers than there are spots in a major league rotation, and it sure sounds like Dillon Gee is the most likely of the team’s stable to be traded before the 2015 season begins. With seven other pitchers who could reasonably be slotted into the rotation on Opening Day if necessary, it makes sense that the Mets would trade a starter and prefer not to trade any of their young, most promising pitchers.

Other teams know this, of course, which sets expectations somewhat low for the Mets’ return in a potential Gee trade. Most recently, the Padres, Giants, and Rockies have been linked to Gee in trade rumors. The Rangers also reportedly had some interest in him back at the Winter Meetings, and there might be another team or two that could use a pitcher like Gee to shore up its rotation.

While Gee might not be as enticing as Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler, or Noah Syndergaard, several pitchers similar to Gee have been dealt in the recent past. By Baseball-Reference’s similarity scores, the two pitchers whose Gee career has been most like are Jeremy Hellickson and Wade Miley. Conveniently, both pitchers were traded this winter—Hellickson to the Diamondbacks from the Rays and Miley to the Red Sox from the Diamondbacks.

Hellickson hasn’t been as good as Gee over the past couple of years, is entering his age-28 season, and can become a free agent following the 2016 season. While his recent performance does not match Gee’s, he had a couple of good years in 2011 and 2012. Miley wasn’t as good as Gee in 2014, either, but he was quite a bit better in 2012 and 2013. He, too, is entering his age-28 season, but he is under team control through the 2017 season. And Gee is entering his age-29 season and can become a free agent after the 2016 season.

The Rays sent Hellickson to the Diamondbacks for a couple of prospects: shortstop Andrew Velazquez and corner outfielder Justin Williams. Velazquez is a 20-year-old Bronx native and spent the past two seasons with Arizona’s Single-A affiliate in the Midwest League, where he had a .796 OPS in 2014 and played mostly shortstop with a touch of second base. Williams is just 19 years old and split the 2014 season between rookie ball and Single-A with a combined .870 OPS for the season. While Velazquez did not make the Rays’ top ten prospects list on Baseball Prospectus, Williams did, and BP ranked him ninth in the system.

As for Miley, the Diamondbacks got three players in their deal with Boston: right-handed pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster and minor league middle infielder Raymel Flores. De La Rosa has a 4.34 ERA in 174.1 major league innings and had 4.43 ERA and 87 ERA+ for the Red Sox in 2014. He is heading into his age-26 season. Webster has a 6.25 ERA in his first 89.1 major league innings, and he’s entering his age-25 season. Flores is just 20 years old and spent last year in the New York Penn League, where he hit .282/.344/.354.

Neither return is overwhelming, but if the Mets are to trade Gee, they should be able to get something useful back.