Aug 5, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcherMatt Harvey
(33) throws the ball in the first inning of a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
1) Matt Harvey For Xander Bogaerts
Cafardo said, “The Mets may not be able to solve their offensive problems through free agency because they are not likely to spend the money. So, they may have to use their pitching depth to do so […] The downside for the Red Sox would be they’d lose an up-and-coming player but would gain one of the top young pitchers in the game. A potential replacement for Bogaerts would be Deven Marrero. There’s also Holt, who has played well at shortstop. It would be a good move for the Mets, who need a young star in the infield.”
Of course the Red Sox would be better if they had Matt Harvey. Yet, before we sign over Bogaerts, how about we look more closely at the Mets’ infield situation. They have Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores at shortstop. They have Daniel Murphy and Kelly Johnson at second base. They also have Juan Uribe and Eric Campbell at third, while Murphy could also play the position.
Now, forget about 33-year-old Johnson and his .259 batting average, as his contract is only for this year; forget about 36-year-old Uribe, who was simply brought in to give the Mets a veteran bat and some leadership, which has turned into a .120 batting average in the last seven games; forget about Campbell’s .179, as well.
That leaves Murphy, Tejada, and Flores. Murphy’s 30 years old and is hitting .280 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs. Tejada’s belting a mere .260 with two home runs and 20 RBIs. Flores’ hitting a lowly .253 only because of a very slow start to the season. He’s bashed .299 and .273 for July and August, with significant power to drive in 11 home runs and 40 RBIs this year.
Bogaerts would be an improvement to Tejada as a bat, hitting .311 with three home runs and 53 RBIs; however, he’s only slightly better, percentage-wise, in the field this season.
Flores may not be hitting like Bogaerts today, but even the Red Sox shortstop had a slow start to his career. Anyone remember the nightmare that was Bogaerts last year? Put your hand up if you wanted to trade or release him at the end of every month of the 2014 season. Flores’ recent success and the passion that he showed for the Mets, when he cried on the field over an inaccurate trade rumor, could be signs that the star is rising inside him, too.
And, the fact that the often-injured-but-fan-favorite David Wright is coming to take back his throne at third base doesn’t give the Mets many options. One could argue that they could add Bogaerts as the shortstop with either Flores or Murphy at second, with Wright signed to play third base until 2020. Even if the Mets wanted to stab their season-ticket holders in the heart and rid themselves of Captain America, they could still put Murphy at third and feel that their infield is decent, if not elite, and still keep Harvey.
That’s right, we haven’t even spoken about what Harvey would bring to the Red Sox. The 2013 All-Star is eligible for salary arbitration, which could mean big numbers for the former first-rounder in the 2010 MLB draft, with free agency in 2019. Was it also mentioned that Harvey missed the 2014 season due to Tommy John surgery? He’s 10-7 with a 2.76 ERA and 121 strikeouts, looking like his injury is now history. However, there are a ton of factors up in the air about Harvey, while the Red Sox know what they have in Bogaerts and the contractual control that they have with him.
Oh, and Tejada is 25 and Flores is 24. What was that about needing youth in the infield? We could go into why the Red Sox shouldn’t trade arguably their best hitter away, but why bother?