The Red Sox have proven that there is no such thing as an untradeable contract — you just have to include a good player (Adrian Gonzalez) in the deal. The Mets have a couple of bad contracts they would love to unload. Can they do the same thing the Red Sox did?
The contracts, of course, belong to Johan Santana and Jason Bay. Santana is owed $25.5 million for 2013 plus a $5.5 million buyout, while Bay is due $18.125 million next year with a $3 million buyout. The Mets situation is not as dire as Boston’s because there is only one year left on those deals, but eliminating them would give the Mets a whole lot of flexibility for next season.
The first thought is that there is no way the Mets can unload these contracts. After all, Johan Santana was shut down because of injury last month and Jason Bay plays like, well, Jason Bay. But what if there was a player whom a team wanted so much that they would absorb one of those contracts?
The only player who fits that bill is R.A. Dickey (because I refuse to entertain the thought of trading David Wright). Let’s say there is a team which thinks it is one pitcher away from the World Series, and it thinks that pitcher is Dickey. Don’t you think it would take on Santana or Bay in order to get Dickey, especially when Dickey is signed for a bargain $5 million for 2013?
The only problem is that the other team might be unwilling to give the Mets a top prospect in addition to taking on one of those unpleasant contracts. Unless the Mets find a desperate team like the Red Sox did with the Dodgers. Most observers were stunned that the Dodgers gave up two top prospects among the five players they sent to Boston in addition to taking on all of those contracts. Perhaps the Mets can do the same.
The odds of this happening are remote. But if the Red Sox could do it, then we can at least dream that the Mets could pull it off.