By Brian Cranston:
Following the Mets signing of Jay Bruce, it was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic that the Mets balked at an offer for Andrew McCutchen because they were unwilling to trade Brandon Nimmo. I am not upset that the Mets did not trade for McCutchen, since his contract is large and he is in the final year of his deal, plus he has been on the decline for the last three years. However, what I do not get is why they are so keen on keeping Brandon Nimmo. What would be smart on the Mets end would be use Brandon Nimmo in a trade for Pirates second basemen Josh Harrison, a position the Mets desperately need to fill.
Harrison makes so much sense for the Mets in so many ways. First off, he’s an obvious upgrade because the Mets do not even have a second basemen on the roster besides Wilmer Flores, who has displayed glimpses of success at the plate, but has also shown he is inept defensively. Harrison can play multiple positions including 2nd, 3rd, and a little bit of outfield. Currently, Asdrubal Cabrera is slated as the opening day 3rd basemen. Cabrera is getting up there in age, and he has been a frequent visitor on the disabled list. Harrison also provides speed for the Mets, a facet of the game the team has been missing for many years now. Harrison comes with a team friendly contract, 3 years for around 30 million. The Mets seem that the asking price is too high… what else is new!
Not giving up Nimmo in a trade for Harrison would be a very questionable decision. The Mets are already set in the outfield with Yoenis Cespedes in left, Michael Conforto in center, and Jay Bruce in right. Conforto is not expected back until May, following shoulder surgery. However, Juan Lagares in more than capable of manning down CF for a month, as he is an outstanding defender (Gold Glove award winner in 2014). Nimmo looked promising towards the end of the season, as the Mets loved his plate discipline and walk rate. I understand the Mets want to keep Nimmo for outfield depth, but they must make a move to upgrade other positions at some point. Also, the Mets are low on prospects and have stated that they would rather dive into the free agent market rather than trading for a 2nd basemen. Let’s take a look at the 2nd basemen free agents!
Brandon Phillips- Good year in a hitter friendly park in Atlanta (.285 BA) 36 years old. Pass.
Neil Walker- Let’s just assemble the exact same team as last year that won 72 games. Pass.
Jose Reyes- Horrible year. 35 years old. An absolute backup on a winning team, which is what the Mets are trying to do. Pass
Harrison comes with a very team friendly contract, 3 years for around 30 million. Therefore, the asking price will be higher, but for a 30-year-old who can play multiple positions, who has hit above .270 the last four years, and adds speed, is worth it for the Mets.
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