Mets need to turn to the Desert to fill their Shortstop need

Posted: December 13, 2013 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion

By Steven Inman

Both Didi Gregorius (left) and Chris Owings would be good gets but would likely cost Sandy Alderson a lot Photo By Fox Sports Arizona

Both Didi Gregorius (left) and Chris Owings would be good gets but would likely cost Sandy Alderson a lot
Photo By Fox Sports Arizona

The Mets have now diverted their attention to finding a shortstop on the trade market now that they are close to their payroll limit. The team with the most shortstop depth right now is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Diamondbacks General Manager Kevin Towers has Didi Gregorius and Chris Owings on his roster. Both play a quality shortstop but it doesn’t seem like they’re are enough at bats for the both of them especially with Aaron Hill at second base. Towers plans on having the two shortstops compete for the job in Spring Training but they are both available. Gregorius was the Diamondbacks everyday shortstop last year and while he is solid defensively he is very limited offensively. Gregorius, 23, hit .252 with a .332 OBP and seven homeruns in his rookie year for the Diamondbacks in 2013. Owings would be the guy to target if I were the Mets. While he doesn’t have as much big league experience as Gregorius he certainly brings much more upside.

Owings,22, had a monster year in Triple A although in the Pacific Coast league, a big time hitters league. Owings hit .330 with 12 homers and 20 steals in 125 Triple A games. He hit .291 in a brief 20 game stint in the big leagues. The issue with Owings is he doesn’t really walk at all so if he doesn’t hit for a high average he could get exposed against big league pitching. The Mets don’t seem to have a ton of options outside the organization right now so Owings would probably be close to the top of their list anyway. Owings walked just %3.8 of his Triple A plate appearances in 2013. That isn’t an anomaly either as he walked just %3.5 of the time the year before in Double AA.

Owings probably isn’t as good defensively as Gregorius but he still profiles as above average.

Owings would likely cost the Mets a fortune as he is the D-backs’ top hitting prospect and they could always just stash him or Gregorius away in Triple A. He would likely cost one of the Mets top pitching prospects. Obviously Syndergaard is untouchable at this point but the other guys could be moved in the right deal.

There just doesn’t seem to be a perfect fit anymore for the Mets shortstop position but Owings certainty has the most upside.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – The more spin on this story that I read the more I wish that SA had offered Reyes more than a box of chocolates. But that kind of wishing doesn’t get us anywhere these days. If the D Backs will take one or even two tradeable young arms for Owings then SA needs to pull the trigger. Owings is obviously still young and the Mets can have him for six years until he opts for free agency so SA needs to pull the trigger on this deal. I remember when Reyes came up he didn’t walk much or even at all. He then learned how to take the walk when he didn’t get his pitch. If Reyes can learn to do that then why not Owings? Think of it if the Mets get Owings then with d’Arnaud and Owings they will have two top young prospects in their opening day line up. Oh and if the D Backs will take Tejada and only one young arm that, in my opinion, would be the best deal for the Mets. Hopefully, it will be the best deal for the D Backs as well. If this gets done then the only significant piece left to get would be a BP cross over stud like Gregg or Perez. I read that Axford has apparently developed velocity issues. Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      Mike your take on how Reyes struggled to walk when he first came up is fantastic. It’s something I hadn’t thought about.

      Owings numbers are great but many are concerned if they are inflated in the PCL. Remember when Lagares came up he was hitting .346 in the PCL.

      As for the bullpen I think the mets are going to wait this out until mid January and see who’s left. I’m not a big Gregg fan he got cut in spring training by the dodgers and I think he had a very “flukeish” year in Chicago. Axford still throws pretty hard but Perez would be the guy to get if his price drops. Thanks for the comment Mike!

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