Mets Should Not Be Interested In Dee Gordon

With Derek Jeter apparently more of true Marlin than true Yankee at heart, he is looking to cut the Marlins payroll down to around $90 million.  In order to accomplish that goal, he is going to have to trade Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Martin Prado.  Given the Mets vacancy at second base, people have begun to speculate whether Gordon would be a good fit with the Mets.

The basis of this opinion is predicated on the proposition that Gordon is everything the Mets have been lacking both at second base over the past decade, and the team as a whole the past few seasons.  Gordon has a reputation as a good defender and a top of the order hitter who not only gets on base, but he can steal bases as well.

There is a good basis for Gordon’s reputation.  In 2015, he had a career year winning the NL Batting Title while hitting .333/.359/.418 with a league leading 205 hits.  He also had 24 doubles, eight triples, 4 homers, and 56 RBI.  He would also lead the league in stolen bases (58).  He made his second All Star team while winning his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

The problem is Gordon has not been the same player in the two subsequent seasons.  If you think you can get a 30 year old player whose game is predicated upon speed to get back to that point, you are going to have to pay him $27.1 million over the next two season with a $1 million buyout after that if he doesn’t get back to that point.

And there are legitimate reasons to believe he won’t get back to that point.

First and foremost, it needs to be mentioned Gordon has not been the same player since his 80 game suspension in 2016 for testing positive for positive for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol.

The player we saw lead the league in batting average and hits with a 116 OPS+ and wRC+ has become a below league average hitter.  Since that 2015 season, Gordon is hitting just .294/.329/.362, which is good for an 88 OPS+ and an 85 wRC+.  Sure, he still steals a lot of bases, including a league leading 60 last year, but he’s still a below average hitter.

With him being a below average hitter, you may still want to take a chance on him because he’s a Gold Glover.  Except, he isn’t that anymore.

During his 2015 Gold Glove campaign, Gordon posted a 13 DRS and a 6.4 UZR.  Those numbers were impressive, but they were also outliers.  Taking away that terrific 2015 season, Gordon is a player who averages a 0 DRS and a 1.6 UZR at second base.  Those are not the numbers of a fielder who is going to radically change the dynamic of the Mets being a poor defensive team.  Rather, he’s just going to be better than what they have had.

Overall, the infatuation with Gordon stems from the main fact people remember his incredible 2015 season, and they overlook two subpar years from him.

It is entirely possible with the right environment, he can return to his 2015 form.  However, considering how speed players typically age, it’s not likely Gordon is going to be the outlier.  Even if he could be the outlier, is it worth risking $27.1 million to find out?  For a Mets team that has many needs and is looking to cut payroll, the answer should be a clear and resounding no.