The Mets are bad, but two things apply here. The first is the run differential. The Mets are currently +19, which ranks higher than the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves- all currently ahead of the Mets in the wildcard standings. After a recent streak of success, New York finds themselves third in the N.L. East, and just seven games out of both the second wildcard spot and first place in the National League East. Adam Rubin of Metstoday.com already reported that Bartolo Colon was made available for trade, but should the Mets go the other way? Should the Mets try to acquire a bat, in order to make a second half push?
If the Mets aren’t capable of adding another a bat at the shortstop position, the gaping hole at left field will have to suffice. While the Mets are ranked 15th in left field production, via Fangraphs, the Mets could use a sizable upgrade. Eric Young profiles as a great bat off the bench with wheels to change the game on the base paths, and both Eric Campbell and Kirk Nieuwenhuis strike out too much to be everyday starters (Not to mention, Campbell should be used more as a platoon guy with Lucas Duda at first). Other than a handful of at-bats against Oakland, Chris Young’s .202/.287/.356 line has been a major disappointment. Even the -5.6 defensive rating and -2.2 UZR stands out here. Before he sent two balls over the fence against Oakland, Young was a DFA candidate, and did nothing since then to remove him off the chopping block.
Alex Rios is an interesting name that stands out for me.
While his defense rates similarly to Young, the bat is much better. This season, Rios has triple slashes of .305/.333/.440. He doesn’t walk a ton, but he doesn’t strike out as much as other non-walkers do. The Texas Rangers are at the bottom of the barrel this season, and seem to be on the verge of a bit of a youth movement, as former top prospects Rougned Odor and Luis Sardinas get valuable at-bats while others are injured. With another former top 100 prospect in Michael Choice in Triple-A, and Joey Gallo talking his way into future plans, the Rangers could be more and more intrigued in shopping Rios and his contract for a package of close prospects.
Earlier in the season, general manager Sandy Alderson and crew stated that the Mets won’t be looking to add payroll in-season, but clipping Colon’s contract off, while making a considerable pushing for the playoffs should be reason enough to add salary, no? Let’s talk about his contract: The Mets would pick up the remainder of Rios’ $12.5 million dollars this season, and has a team option for 2015 for $13.5 million. It’s a steep price, but a perfect fit, as the Mets would lose Chris Young’s $7.0 million dollar price tag, as well as Jason Bay’s $3.0 buyout money off the books, allowing the Mets to serve as a 2015 “upgrade.”
The compensation shouldn’t be rough either. Rios is a serviceable player, but not one who you clear the farm system for. In fact, I’d be shocked if the Mets had to give up a “top 100” prospect for him. The Rangers would like to add some more pitching after injuries to Martin Perez and a slew of other members of the major-league rotation. A trade of Gabriel Ynoa for Alex Rios sounds about right, the Mets could offer Jayce Boyd or even Eric Campbell as a first base prospect. If the prices goes above Wilmer Flores, I think I would pause, but if the Mets gets to say, three games behind for the NL East crown, the Mets should make the move.