I don’t want to do TOO much tea leaf reading, but I’m gonna do a little. Specifically, I think the Mets really want Willson Contreras and David Robertson, but they’ve been frustrated at the Cubs keeping the price high. And everything that’s coming out today is really all about that.
How do I come to that conclusion?
Well, consider that we know the sides have been in negotiations for several days now, and we also know that the Mets don’t want to touch their top tier of prospects in a trade this year. There have been reports floated about how the Cubs are interested in guys like Dom Smith and Tomas Nido, which, come on now. We get it. The Mets don’t want to give up a top prospect.
The next step in me coming to that conclusion? These reports this afternoon:
The tell? The Mets want everyone to know they’ve got scouts watching the Red Sox … and also they are still pumping out the Dom Smith stuff!!!
So follow me. Mets want Contreras-Robertson. Cubs keeping asking price high (in part because they’re probably still waiting on the Padres). Mets get frustrated and start to try to float things through the media about who the Cubs might want. It falls way flat. So Mets remind the world that they could totally turn to the Red Sox to pick up a catcher and/or a big bat, and they don’t need the Cubs.
I could be wrong. In fact, I probably AM wrong in at least some way. But I bet I’ve got a bit of the thread here. I’ve seen this dance enough times.
As for the Red Sox pieces, Christian Vazquez is batting a bit above league average this year, but is historically more of a 15ish% below average, but a very solid catcher. Not sure that’s exactly what the Mets are looking for, what with James McCann returning soon and profiling similarly.
JD Martinez, an impending free agent like Vazquez, is not the guy he was five years ago, but he still hits well enough: .293/.361/.466/131 wRC+. If the Mets truly just want a right-handed bat, then yes, he actually does seem like a good alternative to Contreras.
But the thing is, I don’t believe the Mets just want a bat. I think they want a bat who can catch. I think they want Willson Contreras, and I think they want David Robertson included. This all just seems so heavy-handed to me.