Note: This idea comes from a Twitter conversation between two Mets bloggers, which can be found here.
The Mets currently have an outfield full of questions pertaining to production, defense, health, etc… The only lock at this point, Lucas Duda, who has to prove himself just as much as Collin Cowgill, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter, etc… Marlon Byrd had a nice debut today but he’s fought injuries throughout his career, and the Mets cannot rely on a washed-up outfielder to seriously give them 162 games, even if he is added to the 40-man roster. Is he even worth a 40-man roster spot?
There’s a simple solution to all of this: trade for the Chicago Cubs leftfielder Alfonso Soriano. An aging veteran with a terrible contract, the Cubs have seemed desperate to unload him and move on with their new plans. If the Mets would be willing to give up a C+ level prospect the deal could possibly get done, though the Mets would most likely have to eat some of his contract. This all depends on if the Cubs are willing to eat up his most of the contract, since the Mets are continuing to pay Jason Bay and other outfielder until eternity.
Soriano brings an obvious attraction: power. He tapped into the fountain of youth last season, belting 32 homeruns. He also played almost a full season, missing just 11 games. Injuries are something he’s dealt with most of his Cubs career, but at this point, it’s worth a gamble. The only downside with this move would be the terrible defense, but for 27-30 homeruns a year, the Mets wouldn’t mind giving up a few runs for a much needed power infusion. This also gives the Mets more balance, adding a right-handed bat.
So what kind of prospect would it take? You could see the Mets possibly unloading second-basemen Reese Havens, who’s battled back injuries since forever. Theo Epstein took a chance on Adrian Cardenas last season, which didn’t work out, but Havens have significant upside over Cardenas. The move makes sense since it would free up a 40-man roster spot. The Mets could also look into trading Collin McHugh. He’s loved by Mets prospectors, for some think he’s 2.0 version of Dillon Gee. In a realistic future, he has no place in the Mets rotation with Niese locked up, Harvey and Gee locked, Wheeler on the horizon, and the lower minors pitchers.
One downside to if this happens, Duda would need to move back to right-field. Oh well.
Interesting idea which probably won’t happen but it could be an interesting move that, in my opinion, could possibly get some fans in the seats and give this outfield a little more personality.