Mets still looking for big bat at Shortstop but Flores still likely

Posted: January 12, 2015 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion
Tags: , ,

By Steven Inman

Ian Desmond has had no trouble driving in runs at Citi Field in his career (Photo by Getty Images)

Ian Desmond has had no trouble driving in runs at Citi Field in his career (Photo by Getty Images)

According to various media reports the Mets were engaged in three team dialogue with the Rays and Nationals that would have sent All-Star shortstop Ian Desmond to New York. Desmond, 29, has hit 44 homers over the past two seasons and would bring much needed pop to this Met lineup but a deal is now seen as very unlikely. Desmond has nine homers and 27 RBI in his career at Citi Field, both career highs in any visiting ballpark.

In the proposed deal the Mets would send two top prospects to the Rays, one of which would be Noah Syndergaard. The Mets deemed that package two valuable to give up because Desmond is under club control for just one more season.

Desmond has been the NL silver slugger in each of the past three seasons but giving up two top prospects is too much for a guy who is likely to hit the open market in November. The Nationals who have much more money to spend than the Mets, are willing to trade him because they don’t believe they can sign him.

Desmond would have been a one-year rental for the Mets as according to the Washington Post, the shortstop turned down a seven year contract worth $107 million last winter from the Nationals, thinking he could get significantly more as a free agent.

Desmond will make $11 million in 2015. Mike Rizzo and the Nationals have made it no secret that he is available for the right package.

The Mets were also interested in acquiring Ben Zobrist from the Rays, who instead went to the Athletics last weekend but the package the Rays wanted was very similar to what they were asking for in the three team deal for Desmond.

The Mets continue to try and get creative in finding a shortstop but the most likely scenario is the Mets give Wilmer Flores the first crack at being the starting shortstop with Ruben Tejada entering the season as the backup middle infielder. If Flores struggles offensively the club will likely continue to search for a long term shortstop.

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve – While I agree that with the Mets FO that Noah Syndergaard plus a second unnamed front line prospect was far too much for a one year $11 million rental who, I believe, is a Boras FA client in November 2015 to give up, I can’t keep from thinking that the $106 million 6 year contract that stole Jose Reyes away from the Mets is looking more and more each year like a missed opportunity by this same FO than it did when it happened. So far, Jose Reyes have proven to be irreplaceable by the Mets. While the Mets may now be on the verge of play off contention in 2015 to compete in the post season they will need to be strong up the middle. The Mets still need a young lead off hitter, SS and RBI producer if they are to contend in the long run. I can only hope that prospects like Herrera, Rosario, Nemo and Conforto are all MLB ready real soon. Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      Mike your spot on, the Reyes decision was by far the worst decision Sandy Alderson has made as Mets GM. He has not found an adequate replacement for Reyes as shortstop after shortstop gets even larger contracts.

      The Mets shortstop issue figures to be an issue going forward.

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