The New York Mets have recently been on a little bit of a hunt for an upgrade in centerfield. As of right now, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares are set to split time in center for New York. Lagares has shown that he is not capable of playing everyday, and Granderson is getting into the later stages of his career, and lets face it, is not an everyday centerfielder. Enter the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies are a different story than the Mets. They went out this offseason and signed the versatile Ian Desmond. The problem is, they do not have a spot in the outfield for Desmond. What the Rockies were said to be trying to do is move outfielder Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon. That would then open up a spot for Desmond in the outfield, as well as present Colorado an opportunity to sign slugging free agent first baseman Mark Trumbo.
Here is where it all comes together:
Rockies centerfielder Charlie Blackmon would be a perfect fit for the New York Mets. Blackmon is coming off a year in which he won his first career Silver Slugger. He gets on base as well as hits for power. Mets fans may be saying well he has the benefit of playing his home games at Coors Field. Yes you are correct. However, in 75 games on the road last year he hit to an average of .313 with 17 HR’s, 20 doubles, 35 RBI’s, and slugged .563. Compare that to his numbers of .335 with 12 HR’s, 15 doubles, 47 RBI’s, and a slugging percentage of .540 at home. Blackmon slugged more home runs and doubles as well as having a higher slugging percentage away from the friendly confines of Coors Field. In total, Blackmon hit to an average of .324 with 29 HR’s, 82 RBI’s, 111 runs scored, 35 doubles, and a slugging percentage of .552. Another thing that makes Blackmon appealing is that he stole 17 bases last year, after recording 43 a year ago. Blackmon could another much needed threat to this New York Mets lineup. He can be plugged in all over the place, as he can bat leadoff or in the middle of the lineup, in front or behind slugger Yoenis Cespedes. Blackmon could provide some more power as well as a threat on the base paths. In Blackmon’s fielding they get an actual everyday centerfielder. In over 3,000 innings in center, Blackmon has committed only 11 errors as well as recording 13 assists. Charlie has also shown the ability to play the corner outfield positions as well if need be. Each year of Charlie’s brief big league career, his WAR (wins above replacement), has increased. Last year he finished with a mark of 4.4, which is higher than any other Mets player, besides Noah Syndergaard, last year. He would be under team control until after the 2018 season. Blackmon would clearly be a fit for the Mets, however the high price may be the biggest obstacle.
The Colorado Rockies should make this trade for the reasons listed above. With the signing of Desmond they need one more outfield spot, cause playing Desmond at first shouldn’t be in their best interest. With Blackmon gone, Desmond can move to the outfield, and that presents the Rockies the opportunity to sign slugger Mark Trumbo. As I have stated before Trumbo in the high altitude in Coors Field would be a dream come true for the Rockies. Colorado should and will most likely ask the Mets for one or more of their young pitchers in return for Blackmon. The return should and most likely would include young lefty Steven Matz. I personally love Matz, a lefty and a Long Island guy, it doesn’t get much better. Steven has had an up and down career to this point, he has only been able to make a total of 28 starts. This is due to the fact that Matz has had a problem staying healthy thus far. He has been bothered by a bone spur, which was removed this offseason, and some shoulder issues, which were believed to be a result of the bone spurs. However, in those 28 starts Matz has been outstanding and dominant. He has a record of 13-8 with an ERA of 3.16 and 163 strikeouts. Matz has three above average pitches after adding a slider to his repertoire at the end of the 2015 season. Matz is a really dominant lefty, he has a filthy curveball and the addition of the slider makes him even better. The only problem the Rockies may find is the question of wether they can get Matz to stay healthy or not. Other pitchers who may be considered include Zack Wheeler or Robert Gsellman.
A trade between the two ball clubs does not appear to be happening any time soon, if at all. However, they do make a perfect match for each other. Blackmon gives the Mets just what they need in a definite everyday centerfielder, while opening up the opportunity for the Rockies to go out and get that big bat they would love to have in Trumbo. The Mets however, would have to trade either Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce for this deal to go down. Management may also find the Rockies price to be too high, which may make this trade unlikely.
I do feel the Mets are at least one bat, hopefully Blackmon’s, away from really scaring teams. We’ll see if this scenario develops any further as the offseason progresses.