Saturday, October 31, 2009

Adrian Gonzalez To The Mets: Deal or No Deal?

Interesting news here on Adrian Gonzalez. Chris Ello at 619Sports.net (a blog that discusses San Diego sports) has noticed that the Padres did not include any photos of slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the ticket brochures they mailed out to past season ticket holders. It seems like an odd move for the Padres to have their primary offensive weapon missing from such a pamphlet. Wouldn't their main box office attraction be the first person they should feature on this brochure? Does this mean Gonzalez isn't in their plans for 2010?

Imagine if the Mets didn't feature Johan Santana, David Wright or Jose Reyes on a similar brochure. Wouldn't that raise a red flag in Mets-ville? The media would be all over that one and Omar would have some explaining to do.

The Padres already traded Jake Peavy to the White Sox during the season to reduce their payroll. Next season is the final year of Adrian Gonzalez's four-year contract that he signed prior to the 2007 season, although there is an option for 2011. Surely, Gonzalez will be worth more than the Padres can pay for his services once his contract expires. Perhaps the Padres have already been considering this and would like to make it known that he will become available if the right deal presents itself.

The Padres have a promising young first baseman that they called up in 2009 named Kyle Blanks. In his brief time with the Padres, Blanks hit .250 with 10 HR and 22 RBI in only 148 at-bats. The 23-year old's minor league numbers have been quite impressive over the past three seasons.
  • 2007: .301, 24 HR, 100 RBI in 465 at-bats.
  • 2008: .325, 20 HR, 107 RBI in 492 at-bats.
  • 2009: .283, 12 HR, 38 RBI in 233 at-bats (before his call-up to the Padres).
Blanks seems ready for the major leagues now and the Padres might be willing to accommodate him if they can move Gonzalez first.

The Mets should be all over Gonzalez if the Padres are looking to trade him. He provides two things the Mets did not have in many of the players in 2009 - durability and power. Consider his numbers from 2007 to 2009.
  • 2007: .282, 30 HR, 100 RBI in 161 games.
  • 2008: .279, 36 HR, 119 RBI in 162 games.
  • 2009: .277, 40 HR, 99 RBI in 160 games.
He has been in the lineup in all but four games over the past three seasons (the Padres played 163 games in 2007). Also, his home run totals have increased each of the past three seasons despite the fact that he plays his home games in a pitcher's park. Therefore, Citi Field shouldn't diminish his home run totals.

Gonzalez defines durability and consistency. Not only that, he is still very young. At age 27 (he'll be 28 in May), he is just entering his prime. If the Mets can come up with the proper package for the Padres, they should go all out to bring Gonzalez to New York. By having a home run hitter playing first base, the Mets would not have to make a move for a home run hitter in left field.

They could try to swing a deal for Carl Crawford or keep Angel Pagan as a cheaper option to Crawford. There is more of a need for speed in the outfield because of Citi Field's spacious gaps, so bringing in Crawford instead of Matt Holliday or Jason Bay would benefit the Mets both offensively and defensively, especially if they can trade for Adrian Gonzalez.

If the Mets cannot live with another year of Daniel Murphy at first base, then Adrian Gonzalez is the first person they should consider. Their minor league system might not be as deep as other teams, so swinging a deal now might take some creativity. However, if they can find the right group of players to satisfy the Padres, why not go for Gonzalez? According to that Padres brochure, he might be there for the taking. Now it's up to the Mets to make that call.

2 comments:

Joe D. said...

Happy 100th blog post at MMO! Congratulations!

Ed Leyro (and Joey) said...

Thanks, Joe! I'm getting close to 100 here as well (of course, I cheated here, since I've brought some over from MMO to here...)