New York Mets: Simulating the offseason

New York Mets. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
New York Mets. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

A swap of bad contracts

In our quest to upgrade the New York Mets bullpen, and unload a bad contract of our own, we made a trade with the Colorado Rockies. In exchange for Dominic Smith and Jed Lowrie, the Mets acquired Wade Davis and prospect Helcris Olivarez.

Let’s start with Olivarez. In his 60.2 innings in the Dominican Summer League and the Pioneer League, he posted a 3.68 ERA and a 1.401 WHiP, striking out 82 batters with 31 walks. Ranked as the Rockies 25th best prospect, the intriguing lefty has a mid 90s fastball, with the type of frame that projects to lead to increased velocity. His curve has a high spin rate, and flashes as a plus offering, but is inconsistent. Those inconsistencies also plague his change, as he has problems throwing either for strikes. But, as a high octane lefty with a high spin rate and a projectable body, he’s worth a look.

Now, to Davis. Yes, his 2019 campaign was a disaster, as he posted an 8.65 ERA and a 1.875 WHiP, striking out just 42 batters while issuing 29 walks in his 42.2 innings with the Rockies. Davis was even moved from the closer role last year, as it seemed that Coors Field had gotten into his head.

Davis also dealt with injuries last season, as he was sidelined for approximately three weeks with an oblique injury. Prior to that, he had a respectable 2.45 ERA, albeit with a high 1.500 WHiP and control issues. However, that could, presumably, have been explained by his injury.

It is also possible that he attempted to pitch through another injury last season. While he struggled in Colorado, Davis did have a 0.63 ERA on the road as of August 18. If he is healthy, getting Davis out of Colorado could allow him to regain his form as one of the better relievers in the game.

Davis also fits the type of player we were looking for. His contract expires after this season, and there is no reason for the Mets to pick up the $15 million option. In theory, this would become a player option if he finishes 30 games, but with Edwin Diaz still locked in as the closer, Davis would instead fill a setup role. And, if Diaz does continue to struggle, the Mets would have another proven closer ready to step in.

In exchange, we gave up Domonic Smith and Jed Lowrie. Smith, quite simply, is blocked by Pete Alonso and is not going to get a chance with the Mets. Lowrie barely played last season due to injury and is due $10 million next year. Subtracting Lowrie’s salary from Davis’ involves an increase of $7 million, which would be palatable if Davis rebounds away from Coors Field as one would expect.

However, even a healthy Wade Davis would not be enough to fix the New York Mets bullpen. As such, we did not stop there.