Brantley and Grandal Over Pollock and Realmuto

It’s now been a day after the Mets presser for Cano and Diaz where it became clear that the Mets were after Realmuto. Realmuto will cost the Mets one of Conforto/Nimmo/Rosario. Part of the issue is not the promise than any of these three players have but the Mets are already down an outfielder after trading Bruce and a team that is in it to win it wouldn’t count on getting Cespedes back in July.

(This seems like a good time to interrupt and undermine my own article by suggesting the true way to build a winning team – trade Nimmo to get Realmuto and then sign Harper. Or trade Rosario and sign Machado. Or just sign Grandal and Harper. If money wasn’t a limiting factor, these would be the immediate best moves for the Mets).

A day after thinking about Realmuto and Pollock as a solution, I’ve grown concerned. We’ll need two outfielders in this case and it will be difficult to sign another good outfielder after getting Pollock, if that outfielder knows his time will be significantly cut after Cespedes comes back. Pollock also has a giant injury question mark hanging over his head.

Then there’s Realmuto himself. The Marlins were fleeced on a couple of trades last year and seem hellbent on making up for it in the Realmuto trade. The last two years Realmuto has slashed a reliable .278/.332/.451 and .277/.340/.484 but that has led to only a 99 and 113 DRC+ (last year was his first DRC+ above 100) and a BWARP of 4.5 and 4.3.

Grandal on the other hand has had a DRC+ above 100 five times in his first seven seasons, averaging at 110 and has a BWARP of at least 4.6 in the last 4 seasons. He’s two years older than Realmuto, but signing Grandal doesn’t mean the Mets have to trade away their center fielder.

Which means the Mets can look beyond Pollock for the outfield. Brantley at age 31 is coming off back to back years of above 100 DRC+ hitting (108 and 124) and has had a DRC+ above 100 in 5 of the last seasons leading to a career DRC+ of 112 (his first three seasons were his lowest at 86, 82, 92). The one season where it wasn’t over 100, 2016, he played in only 11 games. He’s also had a BWARP of above 3 in three of the last five seasons.

Realmuto is a great player but trading for him means that the Mets will have to spend even more money to fill a new hole they will create in the process. If the Mets are reluctant to go after Harper/Machado due to financial reasons, creating more reasons to spend seems counter intuitive.

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