Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wheeler and d'Arnaud For Stanton? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Earlier today, Andy Martino of the Daily News reported that the Mets have been showing interest in Marlins' outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.  But it would cost New York both Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud.

What do I think of this potential trade?  I'll make it short and sweet.  In fact, I'll let Grumpy Cat answer the question for me.

It would be wrong on so many levels to make this trade - four levels to be exact:

  • Level No. 1:  Wheeler and d'Arnaud are expected to be key contributors to the Mets for many years.  The Mets haven't had a top offensive catcher since Mike Piazza had Braden Looper as a teammate, and they haven't had a young, dominant one-two punch in the starting rotation since Seaver and Koosman.  (Gooden and Darling were great, but Darling was hardly what you would call dominant.)  Wheeler and Matt Harvey would form the nucleus of a potentially memorable starting rotation.
  • Level No. 2:  Sandy Alderson has been doing his best to obtain top prospects who would be under team control for a number of years.  Stanton is entering his fourth season in the major leagues.  He will be making tens of millions of dollars per season once he is eligible for free agency after the 2016 season.  Wheeler and d'Arnaud will more than likely be making less than $10 million combined by that year.
  • Level No. 3:  For all the power Stanton possesses, he also strikes out at an alarming rate.  As of this writing, Stanton has struck out 444 times in 1,354 career at-bats.  That's one strikeout every three at-bats.  Stanton is also a .268 career hitter who, for all his home run prowess, has never reached 90 RBIs over a full season.  Even George Foster had a 90 RBI season for the Mets and he was booed out of town.
  • Level No. 4:  For all you sabermetricians out there, Stanton has a 9.2 oWAR.  That's not over one season.  That's his cumulative oWAR for all of his seasons in the majors.  To put that into perspective, David Wright's cumulative oWAR by the time he was 23 (the age Stanton is now) was 12.3.

Now don't get me wrong.  Giancarlo Stanton is a great player and one who would instantly be superior to any of the current Mets outfielders.  But he is not worth the team's top two prospects.  Not now.  Not ever.

Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud were not acquired to be trade bait.  They became members of the Mets organization to help the team return to prominence and stay there.  Giancarlo Stanton would make a fine addition to the team.  But not if Wheeler and d'Arnaud aren't his teammates.  The team would be better off keeping their future stars (plural) than trading for a current one (singular).

Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud look so much better in blue and orange than in whatever colors the Miami Marlins wear.  (They also look so much better when photographed by Michael Baron, as they were in this beautiful photo.)

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