The angels needed to create financial flexibility. So in December 2019, they included their first choice from June before, winger Will Wilson, to convince the Giants to agree to take the final season and $ 12.6 million of Zack Cozart’s failed three-year pact of $ 38 million.
San Francisco essentially bought a prospectus. One month later, Cozart was released.
Angels GM at the time was Billy Eppler, who worked under the Wilponian ownership of Arte Moreno – among other things, believes a refusal to exceed the luxury tax threshold.
In his second term as GM, Eppler will see how the other side lives. Met’s owner Steve Cohen has promised his baseball department will get “what they need” To try to win 2022. Still, the Mets still need to have a two-legged operation: 1) Upgrade in majors so that if Jacob deGrom is healthy and Francisco Lindor has adapted better to New York, the Mets have a chance to fight. 2) Continue to accentuate the future by building a top-heavy farm system that is not deep.
Cohen’s wallet will provide Met’s opportunities to deal with both at once, if Eppler chooses to be on the other side of the Cozart trade. The market for distressed contracts actually matches well for the Mets in – that among other things – it is deep in starting pitching and third basemen. Keep in mind that many players mentioned below have some form of non-trade protection. In addition, this is my assessment of a distressed contract. But it will give an idea of what Eppler could possibly strive for to get an established player who fits a need plus the prospect of taking on some of all the remaining contracts:
1. Milwaukee Brewers
This is a strange moment because it was assumed that if Milwaukee owner Mark Attanasio allowed baseball president David Stearns to leave for the Mets, part of the compensation would take on the final year of Lorenzo Cain’s contract ($ 18 million) and / or the 17, $ 5 million as Jackie Bradley Jr. is guilty between his pact from 2022 and the purchase in 2023.
The Mets can use a midfielder and Cain and Bradley are at least still strong defenders (however, Bradley could have been the majors’ worst batsman last year). If the Mets were willing to take Milwaukee out of the financial hell by tackling one or both, they could have easier access to Josh Hader, who Milwaukee is still considering trading because he owes $ 10 million for 2022 in his next – previous the season before free agency?
I feel obligated to mention that Christian Yelich has seven years left on $ 188.5 million and does not play as the MVP he was when he signed his big deal.
2. San Diego Padres
After accumulating by far the largest salary list in the team’s history and not making it to the playoffs, there have been no indicators that San Diego is in salary dumping mode. Still, at last July’s deadline for trading, parents were willing to attach a prospectus to Eric Hosmer to remove the last four years of $ 59 million.
If a DH comes to NL (almost certainly), could the Mets take on Hosmer for first base with Pete Alonso becoming DH, if they could also get some prospects? What if the Mets were willing to take on the $ 21 million that Wil Myers owes? The two years of $ 37 million on Yu Darvish? The three years of $ 23 million on Ha-Seong Kim? The two years of $ 16 million by Drew Pomeranz? Many changes here.
In the same vein as Yelich, it should be mentioned that Manny Machado has seven years left of 210 million dollars. Would another season without playoffs motivate San Diego to try to get out of that deal?
3. Dallas Keuchel
Including his 2023 buyout, Keuchel owes $ 19.5 million. He would be a younger, more expensive version of Rich Hill – an athletic left-hander who can deliver back-of-the-rotation innings. Would the White Sox prefer to redirect their money to other items and include an opportunity to make a deal appealing?
The Dodgers owe David Price $ 16 million next year on the final season of his deal and he has similarities with Keuchel.
There are three other leftists who have three years left on the pacts: Boston’s Chris Sale and Washington’s Patrick Corbin (both owed $ 85 million) and Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner ($ 60 million). Bumgarner and New York seem to be a bad marriage. As for Sale and Corbin, not even Cohen takes on the full offerings in hopes of recreating them in Flushing. But what if the Mets could almost halve the obligation by trading Robinson Cano (owed two years of $ 40.5 million)? Would Boston and Washington want to get out of the uncertainty of the two veteran pitchers and spend half of their sum elsewhere?
Remember that the Mets took on the last five years of Cano’s contract in a trade (while Wilpons was still the owner) that is a cousin to what is being proposed here – it gave them access to Edwin Diaz.
4. Evan Longoria
He owes $ 24.5 million between his salary in 2022 and his purchase in 2023. At 36 years old, he is still a good player who can defend the third base. But would the giants, say, want to use his dollars to help redraw Kris Bryant?
Josh Donaldson owes $ 50 million for two years and Minnesota would probably prefer to redistribute their dollars, especially on pitching. Cincinnati is on a pay cut and has two third basemen with Mike Moustakas (two years at $ 38 million) and Eugenio Suarez (three years at $ 35 million) coming after bad seasons.
5. Justin Upton
In November 2017, instead of risking Upton opting out, the Angels put a year on the four seasons remaining of his contract. The GM that did it was Eppler. The additional year is the $ 28 million to be paid in 2022. Eppler has always liked Upton, but it was an earlier version, not the one that has reached 0.210 in the last three injured seasons.
He still has power. Would the Mets be able to use him as DH for a year if they could also get a prospectus? Would the angels – in a similar place to the Mets – be willing to give up an opportunity to have more money to invest after having already removed Aaron Loup and Noah Syndergaard from the Mets?
Their current team would love to be released from the contracts of two other former Eppler favorites – Cubs ‘Jason Heyward (two years, $ 44 million) and Phillies’ Didi Gregorius (one year, $ 14.5 million).
A few more players / contract teams may be keen enough to move to consider including a prospect as an incentive: Houston starter Jake Odorizzi ($ 11.5 million), Cincinnati midfielder Shogo Akiyama ($ 8 million), St. Louis starter Miles Mikolas (two years), $ 31.5 million) and Colorado winger Charlie Blackmon (two years, $ 31 million).