The thing about prospects is that you just don’t know. You can scout the players and scout the stat line but you never know. Prospects bust and throwaway names turn into the golden boys of baseball. You just never know.
With that being said, expectations for the Mets’ trade deadline were probably unrealistically high. The market wasn’t there for Asdrubal Cabrera or Jay Bruce or Curtis Granderson, despite what one can only hope was Sandy Alderson’s most desperate pleas. So Monday — and the weekend itself — was mostly quiet in Flushing.
The longest-tenured Met (we don’t count David Wright anymore) was one of the most likely players to be shipped out of town, but the Bronx always seemed like the right place for Duda. Instead, the surly first baseman went south to St. Pete to put on Tampa Bay Rays blue.
In return, the Mets got back 23-year-old minor league reliever Drew Smith, who, sure, he could be in the bullpen next year. You never know. In 47 innings between high-A and Triple-A this year, the right-hander had a 1.53 ERA and a fastball that reaches the upper 90s. He could be good. You never know.
Duda wasn’t going to be a Met in 2018, so anything the team got back was going to be better than, well, nothing. Literally. That’s the bar here. Lucas Duda is good, but he’s a rental. He wasn’t bringing back Blake Rutherford. He didn’t bring back Blake Rutherford.
Addison Reed was an August 2015 pick-up from the Diamondbacks for two pitchers you forgot existed (I looked them up; they’re not great). Two years later, he’s one of the best right-handed relievers in the game. They turned two no-name arms into 142 innings of 2.09 ERA baseball. That plays.
Addison Reed is in Boston now, traded for Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista, and Stephen Nogosek. They could be good. Maybe one of them will be a not-as-good version of Addison Reed. You never know.
Reed had a career-changing renaissance with in New York and it’s almost a given that they won’t fill that bullpen hole next year — the Mets, after all, don’t buy relievers. There was always a chance they’d have brought him back for 2018. Technically, I suppose, they still may. They probably won’t. Which brings us to…
The Mets were supposed to be sellers. They weren’t very good at that. But then they also bought, because…baseball is weird.
In a rare — but shouldn’t be as rare — intra-division trade, the Mets swapped Merandy Gonzalez and Ricardo Cespedes for A.J. Ramos, the Marlins reliever with an alarmingly high walk rate and another year on his contract. A.J. Ramos will be the offseason move. They won’t make more moves. They won’t sign Wade Davis or Jake McGee or Seung-hwan Oh. It’ll be A.J. Ramos, eighth-inning guy who walks nine per nine, preceding Jeurys Familia, who may or may not currently have a working shoulder. You’ve probably got Paul Sewald, seventh-inning guy, too. And a rotation of pitchers with varying degrees of injuries and also Rafael Montero.
It’s fine. It’s the Mets. Whatever.
Photo credit: Brad Penner – USA Today Sports