New York Media Thinks the Mets Should Land One of the Cubs Shortstops

Even before the trade between the Cubs and A’s was officially announced that added Addison Russell to the organization, the New York and national media started reporting that a deal between the Cubs and Mets would make sense. With the Cubs having too many shortstops and not enough pitching and the Mets needing a shortstop to fill a hole in its lineup could swap a pitcher for a shortstop. A perfect match for a deal that would surely happen in the near future, at least from the Mets point of view.

A report Sunday from the New York Daily News, before Starlin Castro hit the game winning home run in the ninth inning off Jenrry Mejia, stated Castro was the Cubs “most obvious trade chip” but the Mets would be “reluctant to give up one of their top young pitchers” for Castro. The Mets view Castro, according to the report, as “talented but flawed” and would “prefer” Addison Russell and “would also love to trade” for Javier Baez.

According to the report, John Harper’s sources do not think the Cubs would trade Javier Baez for Noah Syndergaard. Even though the Cubs are thought to like Syndergaard and have been scouting his starts with Las Vegas. The report states the Cubs “covet” Syndergaard but it is questionable the Cubs would trade Addison Russell for him.

PrintAccording to John Harper and multiple reports from New York, the Mets are discussing internally if it would be better to hang to its pitching prospects and not deal for the position players on the team’s wish list.

The report from the Daily News indicated the Mets “surely would prefer” to trade Jon Niese, Dillon Gee or Rafael Montero, but the Cubs would want “one of the high-end guys” like Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard or Double-A southpaw Steven Matz. And the Mets would not consider dealing one of those pitchers unless it was for Addison Russell.

Joel Sherman reported the Mets and Cubs have discussed possible deals in the past “and will again this off-season” but right now neither team “wants to surrender its stronghold.” Sherman added that due to the fragile nature of a pitcher, the Mets would likely have to include more than just Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard to acquire one of the Cubs shortstops. And due to the unwillingness of the Mets to trade its top-end pitching prospects, the Mets might have to set its sights lower than Starlin CastroAddison Russell or Javier Baez and look at the Sox’ Alexei Ramirez or to the Diamondbacks for one of its two middle infielders.

The off-season rumors have begun … and the Cubs have 39 games left on the schedule.

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  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I’ve said all along I don’t want to trade any of our batters. But one part of that article caught my eye. That was Russell for Syndegaard and Wheeler. That would be the only way I would condone trading Russell. Even then, I wouldn’t do it. But if the FO did do it, I’d be fine with it.

    If we could get that return for Castro or Baez, I’d feel a little better about it than for Russell. I fell Russell is going to be an absolute star. A once a generation type SS. And I just hate to see him do it in another uniform. But Wheeler has already shown he can pitch at MLB level, and Syndegaard might be even better. With both of them we protect ourselves somewhat against the injury that will almost certainly take one, but hopefully not both, out for 12-18 months in the near future. If we could get them both for Castro or Baez, I’d probably sign off on it. I might even sign off for Russell. But I really am not crazy about trading any of them. Russell, Baez and Castro are all likely going to be studs. Castro already is, and the other two have a good chance of being even better, particularly Russell.

    Let’s stay the course, hold on to our guys. Sign Lester or Scherzer. Then see what happens in 2016 and who from our own system is ready. Good chance by then we could add Edwards

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Edwards to the rotation, and Black, Pinyiero, Underwood, Johnson and Maples may be close. Plus guys like Paniagua could be getting close. Right behind them is Tseng, who could be the best pitcher in our system right now. And I predict that by 2017, one of Cease, Sands and Steele will have risen quickly and may be ready.

      We don’t need those guys that horribly. Not at the expense of Castro, Baez or Russell. Lester/Scherzer, Arietta, Hendricks, Wada/Straily/Turner/Doubront/Beeler/Wood will be a pretty dang good starting 5. The first 3, could be as good as there is in the league.

      Stay the course, hold the line…

      • Sahm

        I love where the cubs are goin for sure but to say those three can be as good as there is in the league..without even looking anything up I’d have to say the Dodgers top three are considerably better than ours even if we get lester.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I don’t know…here’s my opinion.

          1: Lester/Scherzer vs. Kershaw = 60/40 to Kershaw

          2: Arietta vs. Gruenke = draw

          But here is where I think we have a clear advantage…

          3: Hendricks vs. Haren/Ryu/Beckett = 85% to Hendricks

          I think it’s close, but to me amongst the 3, the biggest advantage is Hendricks as the 3. At this stage in their careers, he looks far superior to Dodgers guys.

          Detroit, that’s a different story. Although Verlander has been average at best this season. I expect he will work hard in offseason though and return next year a better pitcher, with more craftiness than ever before.

          Scherzer and Price are better than Lester and Ariwtta. But not by much. With the lineup we are buikding. If we faced them in 2016 WS, we could sweep first 3 games. But they could too.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            And with the ages of all involved in this discussion. I’d guess in 2 years, the best mentioned are Kerahaw, Price, Arietta and Hendricks. According to the numbers from this past season jn Florida, FIP primarily-which has proven to be the most important stat, Turner should be primed for a big comeback season in 2015 and beyond. Af which point, he could feasibly go to the top of our rotation. Or do nothing. Or slot nicely somehere in the middle. And by 2016, internal guys will be a factor. Edwards, and the bunch…

          • Sahm

            I can see kershaw as a top 10 sp of all time by the time he’s done. So I have him a few steps ahead of lester/sherzer who are both good but not close to all time levels. Greinke a Cy young under his belt already and has pitched really well since. If Arrieta is equal to that it wouldn’t shock me but that may be best case scenario. As for ryu an era at 3 and twice as many wins as losses..Hendricks may be as good let’s hope so but 85% to Kyle seems a bit much. And keep in mind the ages of each group are the same. I see the cubs rotation, if we get lester/sherzer, in the same group as stl/cin. I like the debate tho sure would be nice to see an elite sp sign here

          • Ripsnorter1

            Board,

            Lester vs. Kershaw=95% Kershaw.
            Let’s check the stats, Vin, and see if that ain’t so:

            Lester: age 30

            He’d be coming off of a FA contract = big-contracts- weigh-heavy-on-the-mind-poor-performance + one guaranteed trip to the DL.

            Add in the fact that Lester in 2013 wasn’t even in the same league as Kershaw. Look at this 2013 line:
            3.75 ERA….1.294 WHIP

            How about 2012? He’s Edwin Jackson.

            4.82 ERA 1.382 WHIP

            Think I’m lying? Hit the link and see for yourself. : )

            http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lestejo01.shtml

            How much do you want to pay for this guy?

          • Tony_H

            Must be something wrong with my coffee this morning as I am agreeing with Rip!

          • dicepaul

            No, I don’t think your lying. I think your cherry picking but not lying. While I agree that Kershaw is the better pitcher I think your evidence is not good. You chose Lester’s worst year,the only one he had a losing record,and the only one he had double digit losses. I can cherry pick and point out Lester averages 16 wins a season and Kershaw averages 15. I would also like to point out that in the NLCS Kershaw is 0-3 with a 7.23 ERA while in the ALCS Lester is 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA. In the World Series Lester is 3-0 with an 0.43 ERA and Kershaw has never pitched in a WS, maybe Kershaw isn’t a big game pitcher. “Big-contracts-weigh-heavy-on-the-mind-poor-performance+one guaranteed trip to the DL” – Kershaw is making 4 Mil. this year, $30 Mil. next year, $32 in ’16,and $33 in “17 and ’18, I guess we can expect his numbers to go down and for him to go on the DL soon.

          • Denver Mike

            Kershaw started the year on the DL, so it didn’t really take long at all :)

          • mutantbeast

            Better check Kershaws post season record Rip. Its nothin g to boast about.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Board,
            Lay off the Kool-Aid so early in the morning. : )
            Arietta vs. Grienke= Grienke 70%.

            Arietta has had one fine second half of 2014. He has never pitched so well in his life. See Travis Wood for greatest pitcher ever stat line. Grienke has a fine track record. Arietta has fine stuff, but to repeat his partial season performance for an entire year the following year is a great leap of faith.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Rip, I appreciate your analysis. You have a way of telling me you disagree, while also saying you see where I’m coming from and acknowledging some validity.

            Just wanted to say that in Arietta. He has always had the stuff and is now pitching how many analysts, particularly from Baltkmore, always suspected he would pitch. And he’s now done it for over half the season in dominating fashion. Wood never looked this good. Or pitched as deep into games with high K numbers.

            I think this is who he is and he will be slightly improved next year. Gruenke is good. But has never been the Cy Young level since. I think they matchup well. I think Hendricks would tolZ.

            Yes Kershaw is best. But Lester could beat him at least 1/3 of time. He could fall off next season. But not yet. I
            Prefer Scherzer. Less arm usage.

          • Tony_H

            Oh boy…….

          • cubtex

            wow! Arrieta and Greinke are a draw? And Hendricks 85% better than Ryu. You must have put some extra giddyup in whatever you were drinking :)

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            If Arietta and Grienke faced off tomorrow, I expect it would be a low scoring game with both guys going 7+. Could go either way.

            And yes, if Hendricks faced Ryu I would expect him to win 4 out of 5.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Maybe 85 is high…I’ll edit that to 3 out of 5. I don’t think there is a big question he couldn’t beat him 3 out of 5 times based on current performance of both.

          • cubtex

            look at the track records. Greinke has one….Arrieta doesn’t. Remember Carlos Silva? He was 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA with the Cubs in 2010 after being on the scrap heap with the Mariners and traded in the Milton Bradley trade. Let these guys establish themselves first before you compare them to a Cy Young award winner.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’m talking right now, this year. If they match up next week, I like our chance.

          • John_CC

            I too want to see Arrieta pitch an entire season before naming him a Cy Young, but he has been incredible this year and as BR pointed out, he was pegged to be top of rotation pitcher early on, so it’s not smoke and mirrors or a fluke, he looks a lot like an ace, as much or more than Shark ever did.

            But my point was going to be that comparing him to Silva is not fair. That guy was never special and that streak was insane, everyone was waiting for it to end and when it did he never came close again.

          • cubtex

            I just used Silva to show what pitchers can do over a short sample.

          • John_CC

            I know you did. Just thinking about that lazy bum brings up so many awful memories and the whole Bradley thing and …. icky bad!

            I am just starting to have less doubts about Arrieta after every start. It is becoming more and more realistic that Bosio et al have helped him fix a mechanical issue that was his big problem. His command has been nothing less than stellar. But the difference between him and Hendricks for example, is that Arrieta has the makeup of a TOR pitcher, always had, it was just the control issue.

            Plus I really like what I’ve heard from him in post game interviews, seems like a pretty grounded guy, head on straight…all that crap. :)

          • cubtex

            I can go along with that.

          • triple

            Haha, that’s a great…. “extra giddyup in whatever you were drinking.” I’m gonna have to steal that one!

          • mutantbeast

            board, in the post-season Verlanders 95MPH fastball comes into play moreso than in July or August. No one wants to face it when its 40 outside in mid-October. Thats why I want Lester-no one wants his nasty cutter in one there hands on a cold October evening.

      • Tony_H

        I agree with you that we have lots of potential arms in the system and they are starting to come up through the system. I wouldn’t trade any of our elite bats right now and would wait until next years trade deadline or the off-season leading to 2016.

    • Denver Mike

      That’s the thing, the article said Syndergaard OR Wheeler, not both. It also intimates that Castro wouldn’t be enough for even one of the two. So you say if we could get that return for Castro or Baez, what about if it took Castro AND Baze? If I am the Cubs FO, I have already moved on to something less comical before it even gets to that point.

      • Tom U

        You also have to take into account that this is the New York media. They would think that Castro, Baez, AND Russell for a bag of used balls and a stale pack of gum would be a fair deal.

        • Denver Mike

          I know, that’s the only thing that keeps me from losing it when I read stuff like this :) I also don’t worry too much about it because no matter what your opinion of this FO, there is no way they are foolish enough to trade Castro/Baez for Syndergaard. Miami’s FO maybe, but not this one.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Dang Mike, I went back and read through hoping to show where I was right and you were wrong…not so much.

        I wouldn’t trade Castro and Baez for one or two of those guys…no way. Castro is a proven big league stud, Baez is looking like a future stud, that potentially will end up better than Castro. So no way. To me all 3 of these guys are better than any one of their pitching. Our guys have a better shot and less injury risk.

        They give two to our 1.

      • cubtex

        Castro not being enough for Syndergaard is laughable. Exactly. It is comical. Syndergaard is not even lighting up AAA this year….in fact his numbers are pedestrian.

        • John_CC

          It’s ridiculous. And it ain’t happening. The day that Castro or Baez or Russell get traded it will be for a major league payday!

        • Denver Mike

          My favorite part of the NY media’s speculation is that the Tigers gave up practically nothing to get Price at the deadline this year, but a proven ML All-Star player isn’t enough to land one suspect arm that is completely unproven? At least I got to laugh on a Monday morning :)

    • cubtex

      Rider- I am just curious why you think Russell is a once in a generation type SS. Did you read a link that said this. Can you post it? Obviously Billy Beane didn’t think so or for that matter Theo since he passed on him in the draft for Almora. He is a good prospect but so many prospects are compared to a player. Bryce Harper…the “best hitting prospect” in the last 50 years. Josh Vitters…..the “best high school bat in the draft with a can’t miss swing” ….Tim ,Beckham…..the “best SS prospect to come out in years” blah blah blah.
      I would take all bets(if I could) and it would take years to prove….that Starlin Castro will have a better career than Addison Russell when it is all said and done. Could I be wrong? Yes….but I like my chances.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Billy Beane thinks he’s the next Larkin with power. But he wants his ring and he is all in right now. Theo obviously thinks so. And what we’re reading from NY about the Mets and the writers is that they all value Russell higher than any of the others.

        Just read the analysis about him. Once in a generation is my term, but most of the super educated, scout types, believe he’s a super special prospect and potential MVP/All-Star/HOF’er.

        Castro is a great player. HE could absolutely have a better career. In fact given that he’s already up, it’s probably likely. But Russell is a guy with a fairly high chance of being one of the best 2-3 players in baseball when he’s up. He’s a higher ceiling. If Castro can get back to batting .320, .330 then he’s on pace to be a guy like that. And he’s been before. But his skill set is ripping singles and doubles all day long. I need him at .32

        • cubtex

          best 2 or 3 players in baseball? Rider Rider Rider. You are on a roll today :)

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            The thing is ST, this is not a unique opinion. Many baseball people agree. He’s one of the most coveted prospects in MLB. It tells you what people think that the Mets will give us more for him, a guy at AA, then Castro a 3 time all-star.

          • cubtex

            post a couple of those if you could

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Don’t have them handy. But do you really question that this is a widespread opinion or are you just giving me flack? I think most of us on here that read baseball stories are familiar with this view. I’ve been hearing it since before the Arizona fall league last year.

          • cubtex

            here is one. He is a good prospect but he has questions. Can he stick at SS and can he make enough contact(sounds familiar)

            http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/at-shortstop-addison-russell/

            Nineteen-year-old Addison Russell has had some doubters in the past. After playing his way to an all-star berth in the Arizona Fall League, the bat has successfully made fans at every stop.

            The most interesting aspect of his play might be on the other side of the ball, though, where some feel his body type may move him off the position. After talking to the young man about his craft, though, and assessing his skillset and the values of his major league team, it seemed obvious to me that he’ll be a shortstop when he’s announced into the lineup for the first time in the big leagues.

            Just by being selected to the Rising Stars game, and being so young, Addison Russell has pushed his expected success rate so that it’s now equal to a top-thirty hitting prospect in Baseball America’s yearly ranks. He’ll probably make the top twenty or ten in the next version of the list by most accounts, anyway. If there are remaining questions about his game, they’re about his ability to make contact and stay at shortstop.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            That is a good one. One good thing to offset any question about contact is his OBP. It’s always been very good. His celing is .330/.405/35HR. And a reasonable and average projection, considering contact questions would be at the least .270/.360/20HR. He’s just one of those guys, considering the baseball fans he has. I think he’s as close to can’t miss as you can get outside of Kris Bryant.

            Here’s one I found, that is a pretty common assessment that I’ve read. It’s from scoutingbook.com, written 8/1/14.

            “The Cubs farm, circa late 2014, might be the richest farm system of the last decade. A Florida prep infielder with a plus power bat and better than average speed, shortstop Addison Russell will probably grow out of the position very soon, but he’ll look quite good as a third baseman, too. No matter where he plays, he’s one of the best hitting prospects in this or any system, and while he might not be quite as far along as a few of the other Chicago prospects, his ceiling is of the highest order. When he arrives, it’ll be with a big, sweet thump.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            I’m starting to come around to the idea that he won’t stick at SS. But he should be a Gold Glove 3rd baseman. Extremely athletic for the Hot Corner.

          • cubtex

            one thing about baseball reports and getting too excited about prospects….don’t believe everything you read. Ask enough people and you will get varying opinions on most every player.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Sure, but the reports on Russell vary between perennial All-Star and a few all-star games.

          • cubtex

            What I am saying is that he is a good prospect but have you ever seen once in a generational prospects described in this matter? Contact issues. Body will outgrow position. Average speed that will slow down as he ages.

          • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

            Absolutely. And I haven’t read too many people say contact issues. But as I said, he’s an OBP guy so…

            And yeah, he’s a big ol’ boy. Dropped 30 pounds in high school to stay at SS. Probably will play in a body resembling Giancarlo Stanton in near future. In fact, I think GS is a pretty solid comp for him.

          • cubtex
        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          Dang iPad…

          I need him at .325+ to be that big time amazing player. He’s a great player now, but he’s capable of more. I think next year he’ll amaze us. I predict he will work hard this offseason and come back in great shape and improved all around. He’s never struck me as a real hard worker before. But a guy that gets by on natural ability.

          I do love his leadership now too. He’s surprised me there. He’s matured and become a clubhouse leader. I love that and it does make up for him not quite being where he was in years 1 & 2.

  • Tony_H

    What I take away from this is that with the fragile state of arms, elite power bats are worth more in the trade market than elite power arms. The arms need another pitcher added to them to make a deal happen, since the fail rate of arms is so high.

    Seems like one FO has been doing things different than other teams in stockpiling elite power bats and using volume in pitching (due to so many arms falling off).

  • Tony_H

    Also, just based on scouts takes and reports as I haven’t seen Russell yet, Russell is the best all around player of our SS group. Baez has the most upside and Castro is first to the finish line of being a productive player in the majors and is the standard that the other will be judged.

    I still say in 5 years Russell will be our SS and I am not sure if Castro or Baez will be playing along side him at 2B and 3B or with other teams. But none of this happens until both Baez and Russell prove themselves in the majors.

  • Brp921

    The Cubs have the upper hand over the Mets as it stands now in a trade of any of our shortstops for any of their pitchers. There are very good pitchers available in the free agent market compared to the offensive players, let alone shortstops, available. Unless the Mets blow the Cubs away with a rediculous offer then I can’t see a trade between the two happening until free agency has been sorted out and then only if the Cubs miss out on signing the guys they target. Even then I don’t see our front office making a trade that’s not a great value.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Agreed. If they want to give a Wheeler and Syndegaard package. We can discuss. Otherwise, all star SS are very hard to find. So are pitchers, but the injury factor lessens their value.

  • cubtex

    I don’t understand how this is such a story. The Mets have a lot of young arms in the system (the Cubs….not so much) The Cubs have a surplus of SS in the system(the Mets….not so much)
    It is just a writer stating that they would make good trade partners. Will it happen? Maybe but maybe not. It is just one of those “two teams that much up” articles.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      It is not just one writer in the NY market, that is the reason I linked three different reports. Mets fans were viewing this weekend with the Cubs as a way to watch their future shortstop in either Castro or Baez.

      • cubtex

        this is not a shot at you Neil. I understand why you are posting it but to me this is a non story. I just don’t think Cub fans need to get worked up because of a writer playing gm.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Good deal… and you know my view on Castro.

          • cubtex

            we both agree on that one :)

  • John_CC

    Screw the Mets!

    Castro isn’t good enough for them and they want Baez for a prospect that hasn’t proven anything in the ML?

    The Cubs traded two ML pitchers including a proven major league work horse and potential TOR pitcher in Samardjiza and a veteran having a great season (at the time) for Russel. And the NY media thinks that one of their prospect pitchers is worth more than that? Blah!

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Totally agree. Russell isn’t for sale. And if you want to insult me with an offer, it better be for your 2 best pitching prospects. Wheeler and Syndegaard, or no deal.

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        And even then, I’m going to need 48 hours to consider it. And I”ll probably turn it down.

  • SirGladiator

    We know the going rate, from the Cubs-As trade. It’s two bigtime pitchers for one bigtime hitter. So if the Mets want Castro, they’re going to have to give us two bigtime pitchers, that would presumably be Syndergaard and Wheeler (but who knows, maybe they have other pitchers in the minors that Theo values very highly who could be substituted for one or even both of those guys, that’s always possible) . Two bigtime pitchers for Castro and it’s a deal, one for one is no deal. And without question Russell is completely unavailable, I’d ‘consider’ an offer of 3 top pitchers for Baez.

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