The New York Mets have yet another name out there as a player they are interested in acquiring. This one, as opposed to others, makes perfect sense. The question, though, is will they beat the substantial competition to land Josh Harrison? It’s only a wish and a prayer that says they will.
The New York Mets have been all over the baseball landscape this offseason, throwing names out there almost every day as players they are interested in acquiring. The trouble, of course, has been that interest isn’t being transformed into execution, and the team sits pretty much where they ended the season last year.
But according to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Mets could be on their way to hitting the jackpot if they can consummate a deal for the Pirates second baseman, Josh Harrison.
Harrison, while not on a career path to the Hall of Fame, is the kind of player the Mets desperately need, not only to fill the gaping hole at second but to add a player who is controllable salary-wise, as well as having an upside to the rest of his playing career.
The trouble for the Mets is they are not the only team who recognizes that upside, and as a result, Harrison is drawing interest from a host of teams, including (from the same report) the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays.
These types of situations usually spell sudden death by hanging for the Mets as they are seldom able to close a deal when there is competition.
I’m not sure what the Blue Jays are doing in the mix, but as Nathan Hursh reports in Pirates Breakdown, the Yankees and their bevy of prospects are all in. For the Mets, this could mean it’s over before it even begins unless they are willing to part, for example, with Matt Harvey as the main chip since they can’t compete with the Yankees farm system.
Harrison, 30, is coming off an All-Star season during which he posted a .272/.339/.432 slash line with a career-high 16 homers in 542 plate appearances. He’s not exactly cheap by Mets standards, and according to MLB Daily Dish, Harrison is due to earn $10.25 million in 2018 and has club options for 2019 ($10.5 million) and 2020 ($11.5 million). Those options include a $1 million buyout for 2019 and a $500,000 buyout for 2020.
The Yankees could push their way in there with a blockbuster deal of sorts that would include Gerrit Cole, along with Harrison in exchange for Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and perhaps someone like Billy McKinney, who would fit nicely into the Pirates outfield once the Bucs (finally!) trade Andrew McCutchen.
But on this one, I’m openly rooting for the Mets. They need Harrison more than the Yankees, who still have Ronald Torreyes, Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar on deck to man the position, while the Mets have only – really? – Jose Reyes if they reluctantly re-sign him and retread Neil Walker.
Regrettably, because it involves dollars (insignificant as they may be), this is one of those deals Sandy Alderson will need to present to the Wilpons for approval. And at this point, it becomes a matter of how much energy Alderson, at 70, is willing to exert to force his way on the Mets ownership.
With the Yankees standing over his shoulder and the Wilpons with a stranglehold on his neck, how will Alderson fare in the next coming days as Harrison moves somewhere away from Pittsburgh?
The Pirates are clearly in a tear-down, build-up mode. Like a snake in the grass, Mets fans can only hope Alderson is up to the task, in providing the Mets fanbase with a new face and a proven major league talent.