This season has not gone as planned for the Mets. It happens. As Mets fans, we are more used to this than most, but the situation is certainly salvageable. Here are the 10 moves I would make with an eye towards 2020 and beyond.
1. Zack Wheeler and Dom Smith for Royce Lewis: Wheeler is a free agent after the season. Please don’t sign him to an extension now when we can get a prospect for him (a better one if we include Dom) and then re-sign him in the offseason. Dom Smith rakes but has no position with Pete Alonso in town. Sending him to the 1B-needy Twins along with Wheeler, who would be a postseason starter, makes sense from both sides. Lewis is hitting .243 in A-ball but he’s barely two years removed from being the #1 overall pick in the draft.
2. Jeurys Familia for Rusney Castillo and a C level prospect: The Mets take on money in this deal short term to clear it later. Familia is due about $2m the rest of the year while Castillo is owed just over $4m. Then next year, Castillo is dues about $3m more than Familia (14m vs 11m) but Castillo then comes off the books after the 2020 season while Familia is still owed another $11m. This move gets Castillo out of non-40-man purgatory. Let’s give him one more shot these last two months to see if he can be the starting RF in 2020.
3. Steven Matz for Josh James and B level prospect: Matz is getting expensive, and are we sure he can be relied upon? The Astros work miracles on their staff (see Miley, Wade). The Mets should try James as the closer for the next two months because…
4. Edwin Diaz and Jed Lowrie for Keibert Ruiz and Dustin May. I’m not rehashing the Diaz/Cano/Kelenic/Dunn deal here. Too painful, but let’s make the most of the situation. Ruiz is a big time catching prospect and May has mid-rotation stuff. And dumping the $11m owed to Lowrie gives us some money to spend in the offseason.
5. Todd Frazier and Jason Vargas for any C level prospect with a remotely famous last name. Does Bartolo Colon have a kid in the minors by now? If not, what about Aaron Ashby (Brewers, nephew of Andy) or Cory Abbott (Cubs, no relation to Jim) or Edmundo Sosa (Cards, no relation to Sammy) or Daulton Jefferies (A’s, no relation to Gregg) or Jose Soriano (Angels, no relation to Alfosno) Jhailyn Ortiz (Phillies, no relation to David) or you get the point…. Cash saving + lotto ticket seems like a fair return for these vets.
6. Thor and Cano for Jacoby Ellsbury's corpse and Didi Gregorious: Trading Thor is crushing, but this Cano contract (4 years, $96m left after this year) is an albatross. Maybe he will be motivated in the Bronx. Ellsbury’s contract is currently being paid by insurance but only has another year on it anyway. Like Castillo and Yo Cespedes, his deal will expire after 2020. Didi is a free agent after this year but would be a perfect addition to this team long term allowing Rosario to move to CF.
7. Juan Lagares to Colorado for a C level prospect. The Rocks could actually use Lagares’ defense in the vast expanses of Coors.
8. Wilson Ramos and Justin Wilson for Mason Denaburg. Straight forward deal. Two useful pieces for a B level rospect.
9. Sign Gerrit Cole
10. Sign Anthony Rendon
2020 Lineup / Rotation
RF: R. Castillo
4 TBD (Kay?)