It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But one day, the New York Mets will have to take advantage of the increasingly strong farming system they are building.
Everything the current regime has said or done so far has indicated that it would rather stand firm and watch these children grow up. It’s a good strategy, but not the most successful formula.
With several notable prospects rising through the ranks and looking like they may one day contribute to the big league, the Mets must begin to wonder: which of these youngsters has a future at Citi Field and which are becoming commercial bait?
Painful as it may be, the Mets will have to trade a future for the benefit of the present.
The Mets could build a pretty good baseball team in a few short years using just their outlook, maybe. You never know with minor league players. Some future stars become good bench players for years to come. Others stand under our noses and become essential members of the organization.
This franchise has several guys in various positions that we can consider to be future big leagues. Identifying who should stay and who should go is never easy. It’s a combination of screening and trusting some of your players already at the major league level.
As ideal as it is to move from one generation to the next, this is not how the timing works. The Mets already have a lot of youngsters in the starting lineup. There is no place for everyone.
Market timing is key
Who knows more about market timing than billionaire hedge fund owner Steve Cohen? You know, the guy who owns the Mets!
There is a market in baseball at the time. You don’t want all of your players to age and / or become free agents at the same time. This is what happened to the team in 2017 and they didn’t have much to show the following year as they traded multiple coins for not much else in return.
In the future, the situation should be different. We expect the club to be perennial buyers every year, at least to some extent. There is still a market at the time. For example, we want prospect Francisco Alvarez to be ready for daily capture tasks by the time the James McCann deal is over. Every time Pete Crow-Armstrong knocks on the major league door, we hope there will be an opening in the outfield.
It is impossible to time all of this perfectly. We often see notable prospects blocked by major league players. The Mets should limit this as much as possible.
Something to note: they won’t hit it perfectly and shouldn’t try to do so. There are prospects that we are excited about right now that will eventually turn into commercial bait. Rather than moving forward with players in a surplus position, it would make a lot more sense for the team to turn them over for a position of need.
When will this happen? The front office seems focused on doing everything in its power to improve the major league roster without harming their minor league system. Eventually, they’ll have to endure the pain of swapping a potential future star. This is often what it takes to win a World Series.