Fans of the New York Mets will have to lower their expectations even more following a late night move by the club. General Manager Sandy Alderson continues to light the neon for the fire-sale regarding the team’s talent that are on expiring contracts. Alderson’s latest move sends the thirteen-year veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Granderson trade will be completed by either a player to be named later or possible cash considerations.
Curtis Granderson Trade
A popular figure, Granderson’s departure will resonate in the Flushing clubhouse. Michael Conforto, in an interview cited in the New York Post, said, “It’s definitely not fun. It’s tough to see him go. He’s been here since I’ve been here, he’s had a positive energy throughout the time I’ve been here. He comes to the field with that same attitude every day. He keeps it light in here.”
Though he started slow this season, Granderson slashed .254/.340/.474 for the Mets, and provided 20 home runs for the struggling Queens squad. His final at-bat in the blue and orange came on Thursday, August 17, 2017, with a ninth-inning Grand Slam against local rivals, the New York Yankees. The slam was for naught as the Yankees defeated the Mets 7-5.
The Granderson trade brings playoff experience to squad that is the current favorite to win the 2017 World Series. With a record of 86 and 34, the Dodgers look to be the best team in baseball. Combined with the addition of Japanese hurler Yu Darvish at the trade deadline, the Dodgers positioned themselves to improve on their blistering win percentage of .717. However, the players themselves seem to only care about bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy back to Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1988. Pitcher Rich Hill told ESPN’s David Schoenfield “It’s really about the effort we give out on the field and the consistency of that effort. If you look at this team, there is something different, and it’s that intensity all 25 guys bring every single night.”
The Granderson trade gives the Dodgers another solid bat to come off the bench, and a fourth outfielder if needed. The trade also gives them a player with two previous trips to the World Series, having played in 2006 with the Detroit Tigers and in 2015 with the Mets.
Mets’ Fire-Sale Gains
From the Mets’ perspective, its another sale of talent in expiring contracts. Alderson traded veterans Addison Reed, Jay Bruce and Lucas Duda prior to the trade deadline in return for minor league pitching. Following the deadline, he further dealt Neil Walker to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later.
In the trade of Reed to the Boston Red Sox, the Mets picked up minor league relief prospects Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and Stephen Nogosek. Callahan played for Triple-A Pawtucket prior to the trade and currently plays for the Las Vegas 51s, with one save in three opportunities. Both Bautista and Nogosek played for High-A Salem in the Red Sox organization. Bautista converted two saves in two attempts for the St. Lucie Mets with an ERA of 2.10. Nogosek also is currently playing in St. Lucie, but has given up six runs in nine innings of work.
In return for Bruce, the Mets lightened their payroll by $4.2 million dollars, and picked up first year minor-league pitcher Ryder Ryan from the Cleveland Indians farm. Prior to the trade, Ryan played for Lake County of the Class A Midwest League. In three appearances with the Columbia Fireflies following the trade, he pitched 6 innings, and allowed three runs. His ERA has improved by 25 points over that in Lake County.
The Tampa Bay Rays lightened the Mets payroll by $2.5 million, taking all of Duda’s salary. In return, they received Drew Smith from the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits. Now playing with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Smith owns an ERA of a minuscule 1.42 over six games with the club.
The Mets are trying to build for the future with these prospect for veteran deals. By renting out these players at the end of their contracts, the Mets position themselves to be buyers in the post-season free-agency period. Further, with a mix of returns of Triple-A, Double-A, and Class A pitching, they received arms at all points of development. While Terry Collins future as the skipper is unknown, one can hope that he will be given a chance to manage a squad that isn’t beset on all sides by injuries.