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Mets Should Never Hold Onto Prospects, Make Trades, Or Sign Free Agents

Looking at this past offseason, the Mets have traded away much of their future to improve the 2019 team. Top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn were part of a package for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. Ross Adolph, Scott Manea, and Luis Santana were traded for J.D. Davis. Finally, Adam Hill, Felix Valerio, and Bobby Wahl were traded for Keon Broxton.

There has been some debate on each of these moves. Whereas many saw the Mets undervaluing assets, there have been a contingent who have justified the deal under the auspices of how not all prospects work out.

To a certain extent, there is validity to the prospects not panning out. With respect to Generation K, only Jason Isringhausen had a successful career, and that was as a reliever not the front line starter we expected him to be. Outfielders Fernando Martinez, Lastings Milledge, and Alex Ochoa weren’t even so much as a part-time player. Relievers like Eddie Kunz did nothing. The list goes on and on . . . .

Of course, this overlooks the prospects which have had successful careers. Tom Seaver was a Hall of Famer. David Wright, Jose Reyes, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden, and Edgardo Alfonzo were all-time Mets greats. As we know, that list is much longer than that. It also includes Nolan Ryan, which was a trade which lives on in Mets infamy.

That was a trade of a young player who hasn’t figured it out for a past All-Star Jim Fregosi. While prevailing wisdom is that trade was a Mets disaster, the school of thought were you trade young players for proven Major League talent would be fully onboard with that deal. That does beg the question why people are against keeping prospects and are not against the Mets making trades.

Looking over Mets history, this team has made many horrible trades. In addition to the aforementioned Ryan for Fregosi trade, we have also seen several other poor trades in Mets history:

There are several others which have blown up in the Mets faces. In addition to that, there have been trades for players which have greatly under-performed for the Mets. In addition to the aforementioned players, you can include Roberto Alomar, Willie Mays, Joe Torre, and a litany of others did not perform when wearing a Mets uniform.

With the Mets losing valuable young players and with the team getting veterans who have not performed, you have to wonder why the Mets don’t just operate on the free agent market. Of course, the reason there is the extensive failures the Mets have made on that front. The list is well known, and Mets fans can cite them in their sleep – Jason Bay, Bobby Bonilla, Luis Castillo, Vince Coleman, George Foster, Oliver Perez, and many, many others.

Point is, no matter which way you look, you see a history of failures when it comes to the Mets organization. Their prospects always fail. They only trade for veterans in decline. Every free agent signing is a bust.

Of course, that’s not remotely the truth. When looking at each area, the Mets have had plenty of successes and failures. The goal for every General Manager is to have more success than failures and for those failures to not come back and bite you. That’s what defines periods like the 1980s Mets and also the period immediately thereafter.

So in the end, when judging moves, do it on their own merit and not because you believe the Mets prospects fail, trade acquisitions production declines, and every free agent is a bust.

6 thoughts on “Mets Should Never Hold Onto Prospects, Make Trades, Or Sign Free Agents”

  1. Chuck Rothman says:

    Excellent point. The Ryan trade especially — it wasn’t a bad trade; it was a trade that didn’t work out. People forget that Ryan was looking like a pretty stinko pitcher, where Fregosi looked like a future Hall of Famer and no one analyzing their numbers — then or now — would find the slightest fault in the trade (most at the time thought it was a slam dunk for the Mets).

    The team has had very bad luck with high-priced free agents, though.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      People would be falling over themselves to laud that trade today.

  2. OldBackstop says:

    How about Carter for Hubie Brooks, their shortstop; Mike Fitzgerald, the rookie catcher of last season; Herm Winningham, and Floyd Youmans?

    Or Keith for Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey?

    Syndergaaard/D’Arnaud for Dickey?

    Preston Welson et al for Piazza?

    The trades that got Sid? Cone? Ojeda? Darling? Clendenon?
    ============
    One thing the Mets have not been lazy on is restocking with youth at mid year if we are out of contention. If we falter, a lot of this year’s team could *poof* magically turn back into a strong farm system with deadline trades.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Of course, there have been several great trades.

      1. OldBackstop says:

        You are counting the misses and ignoring the hits to make a debate oiint. You did this by writing a long article about the Mets 2019 outfield without the word Cespedes in it. It’s a disingenous practice.

        The vast majority of trades wind up being ‘who cares.’ Then some ae bad, some are good. History seems to judge that in two ways: whether someone gave up a HoFer when they were young (Nolan Ryan) or a near HoFer (Jeff Kent) and whether the trade resulted in helping win a world championship (Carter, Hernandez, Clendenon, Darling, Sid, etc.) A mere pennant impresses no one (see 2015)

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Your calling my article disingenuous means you missed the point. The point being made of people over focus on the negative instead of analyzing each decision on its own merit.

          Honestly, I don’t know how you missed that point when it was spelled out very clearly.

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