New York Mets: Is Danny Valencia an Option?

Jun 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia (26) reacts in the batters box playing against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Oakland Athletics third baseman Danny Valencia (26) reacts in the batters box playing against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

Ever since David Wright was put on the shelf with a neck injury, the New York Mets have been looking for a way to replace him at third base. Is the Oakland A’s surprise star a realistic target?

Coming into this year, the Mets knew that the strength of their ball club would be in their outstanding pitching rotation, with the offense doing just enough for New York to win close games. This has been pretty much come to fruition throughout the first couple months of the regular season.

Noah Syndergaard has been dominant and would be an excellent choice for the NL Cy Young Award if Clayton Kershaw wasn’t superhuman. Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and the 43 year-old Bartolo Colon have solidified the rotation behind him. Matt Harvey has even gotten back on track after a couple rough starts.

The offense, while starting off strong, has lost steam in recent weeks. Hitters like Michael Conforto and Neil Walker started off the year hot, but have tapered off. Lucas Duda has been a major disappointment after some of the power potential he showed in 2015 and is currently on the disabled list. Really outside of Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets lineup leaves a lot to be desired. Just imagine if the club wasn’t able to bring back Cespedes on that short term deal? Things would look much, much, worse in Queens.

Thankfully for Mets fans, Cespedes is on the roster, and the team doesn’t need a massive overhaul in order to compete for a playoff spot. New York does need to invoke some life into their offense though.

Thus far, they have tried to add some inexpensive pieces in James Loney and Kelly Johnson. However, both are more along the lines of solid bench players than actual difference makers offensively. These moves were made to help offset the loss of longtime met all-star David Wright, but don’t expect that these additions will be the club’s last attempts at upgrading their lineup.

According to Kevin Davidoff of the New York Post, the Mets have reached out to the Oakland Athletics to inquire on a trade for Danny Valencia.

Now Valencia may not be a household name, but he has been putting up all-star numbers this season. The 31 year-old third baseman was claimed by Oakland after the Blue Jays decided to designate him to the minor leagues. This move has proved wise for Billy Beane, as Valencia has become the most feared hitter in their lineup over the past year.

As it stands today, Valencia is hitting for a .331 average with 10 home runs. This is an improvement on a solid 2015 campaign as he hit.284, while adding 11 long balls in 97 games with the A’s. Prior to this recent breakout, Valencia was a decent right-handed platoon option who bounced around on 6 different teams in just three years, and he could be on the move again as Oakland falls further out of contention.

The trade market isn’t flush with impact bats, which could drive up the price for someone who is hitting as well as he is at the moment. Billy Beane also has sounded hesitant of giving away major league talent as well.

"“The mode we’re in right now is survival mode,” A’s president of baseball operations Billy Beane said Friday in a telephone interview. “Our challenge has come in building a roster of healthy bodies. The idea of moving bodies right now is not very appealing.”-New York Post"

This would mean that if the Mets wish to heavily pursue the 31 year-old, they would have to pay a steep price. This could mean trading away one of their blue chip prospects in Dominic Smith, Ahmed Rosario or Gavin Cecchini or possibly including a promising young starter like Zack Wheeler in a deal.

We all know that because of the extra wild card, the amount of sellers come trade deadline time has greatly diminished, which inevitably drives up prices. Valencia should definitely be in the conversation for an all-star spot with his performance so far and teams should expect to have to give something of great value if they want him for a playoff run.

More from Call to the Pen

But should the Mets do it? The answer is absolutely if given the opportunity. Just as they did by acquiring Yoenis Cespedes last season, Valencia would provide a spark to an offense that could use some more talent and seriously improve their chances of going deeper into the postseason. Trading a player like Michael Fulmer is not ideal, but the reward could be so great.

Also, take into consideration that Valencia is putting up these numbers in Oakland, which greatly favors pitching over hitting. He has been consistently putting up better numbers in the past couple seasons, as his playing time has increased, and could see even more of a jump if he is able to play in Citi Field. Adding him could also have a positive effect on many current New York Mets hitters as it did after Cespedes joined the fold.

Next: Mets Trade Deadline Overview

Valencia is not the type of power hitter that Cespedes is, who can change the outlook of a game on one pitch. But being a year removed from a National League Championship and having a rotation that can match up with any team in the majors, the Mets need to do everything they can to put their best foot forward for a possible postseason run, and adding Danny Valencia would certainly make the Mets a much better ball club.

What do you think of a possible Mets trade for Danny Valencia? Share your thoughts in the comments below.