The Trade Deadline is quickly approaching, and the Mets, thankfully, are looking more like sellers as each loss piles up. While Sandy Alderson and his personnel were looking for pieces to buy as recently as three weeks ago, the abrupt struggles by the Mets leave them little time to work out trades with the still-contending teams.
For help that nobody in the Mets’ organization will ever see, and mostly for my personal amusement, I’ll be developing a trade a day until the trade deadline. Each one makes sense on paper and will help the Mets for a run next year. If the other team’s prospects don’t get traded to another team within the next three or four hours.
Without further ado, the final trade suggestion:
Mets send RHP Chris Young, RHP Collin McHugh, OF Juan Lagares, and a roll of duct tape to the Toronto Blue Jays for OF Jake Marisnick, RHP Danny Barnes, and RHP Noah Syndergaard.
OK, this isn’t really realistic. The Blue Jays are ultra-conservative when it comes to their prospects and aren’t true buyers. But if they want to make a run, they need starting pitching, and though they can do better in quality, the Jays flat-out need quantity.
Chris Young, when healthy, is an above-average big league pitcher with below-average stuff. His command makes him a fighter, and though he may not have the stuff to dominate the AL East, he has a chance to wade the waters. The roll of duct tape would be included to keep Young’s right shoulder attached to his body.
Collin McHugh is a whole other story. Undrafted out of high school, and a mid round pick out of college, McHugh has put up a 2.95 ERA over two levels of the minors this year, including AAA. The AL East is not the International League, and there’s a good chance that McHugh and his below average peripherals will get eaten alive by the cutthroat division. He’d still be a better option than the in-house starters Toronto has called up this year though.
Juan Lagares projects as a corner outfielder and has the potential to be a .300 hitter with some pop in his bat. He has above-average speed and could develop to be a LF that hits 10-15 HRs a year and plays solid defense.
As for the return, Jake Marisnick is prize 1a. The Blue Jays already have fellow CF prospect Anthony Gose, who is way more developed at this point. They also have Jose Bautista and Colby Rasmus as their other two outfielders, and would have no room for Marisnick. His floor is being average with all five tools (hitting, power, speed, defense, arm), and his ceiling is being a five tool player with a good all-around game. The Mets could use a true CF.
Righty Danny Barnes is dominating AA ball as a reliever averaging 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, with a 2.38 ERA across two levels. He wouldn’t join the Mets immediately and would probably be a summer call-up. The Princeton product, and Long Island native sits at around 93mph with some cutting action on his fastball, and is developing above-average off-speed offerings. If he reaches his ceiling, it would be that of a really good closer.
And finally, prize 1b: Noah Syndengaard, a RHP from Texas. Syndengaard has good command of a dominating fastball that can break 100mph, and easily sits at 95mph with it. While still raw (he turns 20 in late August), his curveball and changeup flash above-average potential. He’s projectable at 6’5 and, if developed properly, has the potential to be a future ace. He’s years-and-years away, and may not pan out as anything more than a flame-throwing reliever, but he’d be a fantastic get for the Mets.
So why would Toronto trade a future ace, closer, and centerfielder for two months of Chris Young, an average AAA pitcher in McHugh, and an average OF prospect? Well, I mentioned this offer was unrealistic, but it can make sense if everything fell into place.
The first step is Toronto becoming buyers. The second is that the incredible depth of their farm system, and the pressure facing Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulous force him to make a fairly bad trade. Toronto is dying for a winning franchise to bring back the excitement of the early 90s, and right now, they’re on the cusp of getting some starting pitching back, and their slugger back. They only sit 4.5 games behind the second Wild Card, and solidifying a woebegone-rotation at the expense of your second best centerfielder, your 4th or 5th best pitching prospect, and a minor league reliever would please the fans. Besides, Toronto has quality to go along with it’s quantity, and there won’t be enough room for all of those prospects on the big league roster.
As an aside, I can’t wait to see one of these three Toronto prospects traded to a different team like San Diego or something.