Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has had a busy day in San Diego at the MLB Winter Meetings. He first reported this afternoon that the Mets will most likely move one of Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee, and Bartolo Colon by this week. He then followed up later, saying that the Chicago Cubs will not be trading their shortstop Starlin Castro.
The first report isn’t surprising, with rumors dating back to February about the Mets potentially moving one of their veteran starters, considering the surplus of starting pitching that is the Mets’ farm system. Their rotation in 2015 has three locks including Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Zack Wheeler. The other spots will be two of Niese, Gee, Colon, Rafael Montero, and top prospect Noah Syndergaard. The most likely candidate to be dealt appears to be Colon. Despite his age of 41, the Mets inked him to a two-year deal last offseason, with the hopes of eventually swinging a trade. He pitched decently this past season, compiling a 15-13 record with a 4.03 ERA. Niese and Gee are entering their eighth and fifth seasons, respectively, and they’ve both pitched well enough to be mainstays in the rotation. They both recorded sub-four ERAs last season, and combined to go 16-19. Niese looks to be safe from a trade however, because he is the only left-handed starting pitcher in the organization that is major league ready.
The Castro news comes as a bit of a shock, as it had appeared that the Cubs were ready to part with their three-time All-Star. Chicago had acquired top prospect Addison Russell at the trade deadline this year, and has had down years (by his standards) these past two seasons. The Mets and Cubs seemed to be a perfect match for a potential trade, considering the Mets’ shortstop need and the Cubs’ starting pitching need. As a thin middle infield market just got thinner, the Mets will either have to start hitting the phones, or throw in the white flag and start the season with Wilmer Flores or Ruben Tejada. The Nationals’ Asdrubal Cabrera or the Athletics’ Jed Lowrie might be the right match.
The Mets obviously have a number of decisions to make. After making a splash on outfielder Michael Cuddyer, its clear that general manager Sandy Alderson has big things in mind for 2015.