We all know the Mets will not be in the running to sign any of the big-money free agents, and scraping the bottom of the barrel for the scrubs does not seem very appealing. The best way Sandy Alderson can improve the Mets is via the trade. Let’s take a look at a couple of possible trade partners for the Mets.
One name being bandied about to solve the Mets catching crisis is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The Red Sox recently signed David Ross and are said to be in love with prospect Ryan Lavarnway, suggesting Saltalamacchia could be dealt. He was once a highly-regarded prospect himself; the Braves picked him in the first round of the 2003 draft and he was a key piece in the trade for Mark Teixeira.
However Saltalamacchia has not really progressed as planned — he is a lifetime .239 hitter. He batted just .222 in 2012, but he did slug 25 home runs, and the Mets certainly need power. A platoon with Josh Thole probably would not work — Saltalamacchia is a switch hitter, but he is far better from the left side (he hit just one homer as a righty), and of course Thole is a lefty.
Saltalamacchia is only 27 years old, so perhaps he can still figure things out. He is certainly a better hitter than Thole. If the Mets could get him without giving up Jonathon Niese, I would do it.
Could Peter Bourjos be patrolling center field for the Mets in 2013? Well, the Angels outfield is very crowded; Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo will definitely be out there. They want to re-sign Tori Hunter. And Vernon Wells is the Mets Jason Bay (although the Angels will not release him). Bourjos is the likely candidate to be traded.
Bourjos had a difficult 2012, hitting .220 in just 168 at bats. He spent some time on the disabled list with a sore wrist. But playing a full season in 2011, Bourjos hit .271 with 12 homers and led the league with 11 triples. He is also young — 25 years old. There seems to be room for improvement.
Depending on what it would cost the Mets to get him, I think Bourjos could be a good addition to the Mets. I wouldn’t give up Niese for him, either, but perhaps lesser players could get it done.
The Mets cannot stand pat. Change is needed. Maybe these two players are not the best choices, but Alderson has to go out and do something to change this team for the better.