The Mets blogs and the New York newspapers will constantly remind you that the Mets have a slight to considerable surplus when it comes to starting pitchers. Harvey is expected to come back next season and be the team's number one starting pitcher. Zack Wheeler had an outstanding second half in 2014 and could very well get even better. Jacob deGrom is a favorite to win the NL Rookie of the Year in 2014. "Veterans" Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee are formidable enough for any team to have in their rotation. And they still have Bartolo Colon under contract for 2015. And... oh yeah, Noah Syndergaard is expected to be MLB ready to start next season. Rafael Montero gives the Mets 8 legitimate starting pitchers, though it is understood that you can never have enough pitching. Expectation is that the Mets will look to trade from their depth to add themselves some offense.
It is easy to ask, "Why would you want to trade Matt Harvey?" "Why would you not want him leading your pitching staff?" Unfortunately, many in the media and on twitter have a serious misconception on why players get traded. It is evident whenever a trade proposal is made. Get X player back from a team that you want in exchange for Y player on your team that you don't want. I understand it is human nature to think that way but it is also showing your lack of baseball education. The truth is, nobody wants to trade a star player, especially one in which has the ability to become the best in the game. I believe firmly that any successful organization in sports needs to look at EVERY player as trad-able.
Those who are up in arms over my proposal probably think Yasiel Puig is just some nut case who will end up being banned from baseball for life for insubordination. If this is you, all I would like to do is watch a little video and see for yourself how great of an athlete he is. He is not compared to Bo Jackson because of the hype factor; he is compared to Bo Jackson because he is... the most physically gifted athlete since Bo Jackson. The man can hit for average and power, run like the wind, cover tremendous ground in the outfield and has one of the strongest throwing arms in the game. Through his first 255 MLB games, Puig has a .305 BA and .888 OPS. When he takes the field next season, he will be only 24 years old.
Over the next two seasons, Puig has a chance to be the best player in all of MLB- better than Mike Trout, better than Miguel Cabrera. In my opinion, right now he is in the top five in all of MLB as far as best player in the game (I also have Clayton Kershaw and Giancarlo Stanton on my list). If there was a player I would be willing to give up anybody for, it would be for Puig. Sure, you can say Trout or Cabrera, but I am sure Cabrera's contract is something any team would not want to touch, especially the Mets. And Trout is about to start to get his own deal where he will be paid over $140 million over the next six seasons. And even if Harvey was offered in a deal for Trout, why would the Angels give up their best player for a pitcher that has not pitched an MLB game since his Tommy John Surgery?
So, I guess the next question is, "What gives you the feeling that Puig would be more obtainable than the other players?" Two easy reasons. First is his contract situation. He has just finished the third season of a 7 year, $42 million contract. Over the next 4 seasons, Puig will make $6.2, $7.2, $8.2 and $9.2 million, respectively. That is $31 million over 4 seasons! Curtis Granderson got more than twice that in free agency and in my opinion, is nowhere near the player that Puig is. Puig's contract will not hamper the organization as they look to address other needs.
Next is the situation in LA. We have heard nothing but talk about how the Dodgers would love to trade Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier. Over the past season, the talk has been more about trading Matt Kemp. Ideally, the Dodgers would like to know they could get something of value for Crawford or Ethier. And I am sure they would want even more back in a deal for Kemp. The conclusion is, no team seems willing to either take on Crawford or Ethier's contracts for nothing, or deal the Dodgers something worthwhile so the Dodgers can pay a considerable amount of the remaining dollars of the deal. With top OF prospect Joc Peterson in tow, it is becoming more probable that the Dodgers will deal Kemp this off season.
Andrew Friedman is over from Tampa Bay to be the President of Baseball Operations for the Dodgers, which means there could be a different look to the team in 2015. Maybe Friedman would be more open minded to moving Puig in the right type of deal. Obviously, he would not trade Puig to anybody for "a couple of prospects."
There is a way to suggest a trade of Matt Harvey without being down on Matt Harvey. I laugh at these wannabe paparazzi people that think they are "breaking a story" every time they notice that he has gone somewhere. To me, this is more about getting value for value. I seriously do not think the Mets could acquire Yasiel Puig for anything less than Matt Harvey. Maybe if you deal Zack Wheeler plus you can convince the Dodgers to think about it. If you are the Dodgers, you think about adding a guy like Harvey between Kershaw and Zack Greinke and it makes sense to give up a guy of Puig's talent. You center your outfield around Kemp and Peterson and have the best rotation in baseball, by a mile. And for the Mets, any fear of Puig being a problem in the clubhouse is evened off by the fact that Harvey still has to fully recover from his operation.
What the two of them have in common is the fact that they can both be the best at their position in all of MLB. Harvey will start to get paid very well after this season. As Matt gets closer to free agency, the Mets will have to figure out whether they will be able to pay Harvey what he is looking to make as a star starting pitcher. If Sandy Alderson and his front office has any reservations over that, maybe a possibility of a trade may be something that makes sense in the long run. Few people wanted to see RA Dickey go, but you had to give up something to get something. In that case, the Mets have added someone who will likely be their starting catcher going forward and a top line starting pitching prospect who is likely to debut this season. From my prospective, I would deal anybody from the Mets to get Yasiel Puig, including Matt Harvey. Now that I am finished, let me have it. Both in the comment section and on my twitter mentions- @john_pielli.