Mets Return For David Robertson Was Shocking
We knew the New York Mets trading David Robertson was coming. After all, Robertson was on a one year deal, and with the Mets completely out of it, he needed to be moved at the trade deadline. With closers traditionally netting good returns, he was a must move.
The shock was that Robertson was moved to the Miami Marlins. The Marlins are surprisingly still in the heat of the race to the postseason. They’re also never a team you think would be adding money at the deadline. All that said, there they were making a huge move at the trade deadline.
For the Mets, the return was a bit of a shock. Perhaps, that is a big reason why much of the reaction has been misplaced.
First thing we need to ignore is the prospect rankings. Those rankings were made before the season, and they do not account for the progress prospects have made, and none of them account for the 2023 draft.
Another important note here is no top 10 or 20 prospect in an organization is the same. A top 10 prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers system is a whole lot different than being a top 10 prospect in the San Diego Padres system. The Dodgers are loaded, and the Padres aren’t.
An example there is when the Mets traded Michael Fulmer to the Detroit Tigers in 2015 for Yoenis Cespedes. At the time of the trade, the talk was the Mets traded a prospect who was rated outside their top 15 prospects.
Well, that wasn’t exactly true. As we discovered soon thereafter, Fulmer was vaulting up lists and would be a top 100 prospect, and he would actually become the Tigers fifth best prospect. The following season he would be the American League Rookie of the Year. This is all a long winded way of saying ignore prospect rankings and generally see what the discussion is on the prospects.
With Marco Vargas and Ronald Hernandez, the Mets got very high ceiling players. Both make a great deal of contact, don’t strike out, have great plate disciple, and they have very real power potential. On one or both, we may one day be talking about how the Mets absolutely stole these two prospects from the Marlins.
These are prospects who typically are thrown into a deal to try to pry a major leaguer away from a team. An example here was the Mets jumping into the Joe Musgrove trade by sending Endy Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates so they could get Joey Lucchesi from the San Diego Padres. We have also seen the Mets send Felix Valerio to the Milwaukee Brewers to help grab Keon Broxton.
Put another way, the Mets have been throwing prospects like Vargas and Hernandez away for years for bit players. Now, they’re using a big trade chip to get prospects of this caliber (perhaps even better than that).
Another thing that immediately stood out was this really didn’t address the Mets organizational needs. The team needs pitchers and outfielders at the upper levels of the minors who can contribute in the next year or two at the major league level. The Marlins did not have the outfielders that fit that bill, but they did have the pitching.
Certainly, there were other teams out there who had what the Mets needed. That said, we don’t know if those teams were actively pursuing Robertson, and if those types of prospects were even put on the table.
There are some who like the return for the Mets, and there are many who don’t. It does seem a little underwhelming, but ultimately, the trade is going to be adjudged by the Mets player development’s ability to make Vargas the type of prospect the Mets desperately need him to be.
All that said, this was the type of trade a team makes when they are tearing it down for a rebuild. With Justin Verlander reportedly being shopped at the deadline, perhaps that’s what the Mets are doing. Maybe not.
With the Mets failing the way they have this season, there is much uncertainty surrounding the future of the team. This does not seem to be a team set for a complete rebuild, which makes this type of trade stand out. In the end, the Mets have a lot of work to do before the trade deadline and even more this offseason. Whatever the case, their system is better for having Vargas and Hernandez in it.