The New York Mets were linked to a possible trade for Ian Kinsler, but Dee Gordon should be higher on their list.
The New York Mets need a leadoff hitter, and more importantly, they need a player that can fill the hole currently vacant on the right side of their infield.
The team is in search of a second baseman due to their desire to play Asdrubal Cabrera at third base to start the 2018 season.
Report: @Mets leaning towards Asdrubal Cabrera as starting third baseman in 2018. #MLB https://t.co/YpUQTpdH2l pic.twitter.com/OMNGeTh9ng
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) November 16, 2017
Because of that hole at second, it’s no surprise that the Mets checked in on the Tigers’ Ian Kinsler recently.
Sources: #Mets, #Tigers have had preliminary discussions on an Ian Kinsler trade. @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 20, 2017
Kinsler is a leadoff hitter and a capable second baseman, but that does not necessarily mean he is the right player for the Mets to be targeting.
There is a trade candidate that the Mets should be looking at before settling for Kinsler, and they don’t even need to look outside the division to find him.
The Mets and their fans are surely familiar with Miami’s Dee Gordon, who’s game starts with his incredible speed. Gordon has put it to good use on the basepaths by compiling 212 stolen bases in the last four seasons.
In fact, the 29-year-old stole 60 bags in 2017, which is two more than the Mets stole as a team.That speed also translates to the field, where he’s been a plus defender, winning a Gold Glove Award in 2015 and then being named a finalist for the award in 2017.
At the dish, Gordon put together an impressive .308/.341/.375 slash line in 2017.
Although his power numbers are nothing to write home about—11 career homers in seven seasons—he can provide the Mets with an elite leadoff hitter and, paired with Amed Rosario, an elite double play duo up the middle.
The biggest issue when it comes to Gordon is his contract. Gordon is almost 30 years old and players reliant on speed tend to experience steep declines into their thirties.
However, the biggest misconception about Gordon seems to be his contract details. As it currently stands, Gordon is due $37 million over the next three years.
The fourth and last year on the deal is a team option for $14 million, with a buyout of just $1 million. That said, the option will automatically vest if he accumulates 600 plate appearances in 2020 or 1,200 plate appearances combined between 2019 and 2020.
This means that Gordon can effectively be a free agent after his age-32 season. The contract doesn’t represent the best value deal in MLB, but it definitely isn’t an albatross that should deter the Mets from making a run at Gordon.
The prospects of having this type of electric speed at Citi field brings back memories to Jose Reyes in his prime.
.@FlashGJr is stealing bases with batting gloves in his mouth now. pic.twitter.com/JDlfEgQtSq
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) August 20, 2017
Mets fans should remember the type of excitement and game-changing ability a player with elite speed brings to the table.
Gordon is no stranger to having elite hitters in the order behind him, with the likes of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna sharing the lineup with him in Miami.
However, moving in front of Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto is not much of a change in that regard. Not to mention the possibilities of a Gordon and Rosario combination at the top of the lineup and in the field.
Gordon is in his prime and elite at what he does. The Mets need to be having discussions about him right now instead of the 35-year-old Kinsler.