It’s rhetorical; I would trade practically anything for him. So would the Mets. So would any team with a basic understanding of value.
So the debate on Twitter over the Daily News piece this morning speculating that the Mets would give up Zack Wheeler and Travis d’Arnaud in a deal for Stanton isn’t a big surprise. Wheeler is a terrific pitching prospect, and d’Arnaud is a terrific catching prospect. The Mets are hoping that Wheeler turns into David Price, and d’Arnaud into Buster Posey. In fact, they’re more than hoping for it; any plan that involves contending in 2014 needs both of them to come up and star, quickly.
But just because the Mets are planning as if that is a sure thing, due to financial necessity, doesn’t mean that it is. Wheeler has yet to master Triple-A, let alone the major leagues. Same with d’Arnaud.
But Giancarlo Stanton is a sure thing.
His OPS+ in 2012 was 158. 158! At age 22! You know who else had an OPS+ of 158 at age 22? Mickey Mantle.
And here’s your list of players with a better OPS+ at age 22: Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Stan Musial, Boog Powell, Eddie Mathews, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Sherry Magee, Jimmy Sheckard, Joe DiMaggio, Bernie Carbo, Pete Rieser, Dick Allen, Jimmy Foxx. Most of those guys are Hall of Famers; Allen should be, and Rieser would have been were it not for injuries.
The guys who hit more home runs than Stanton on that list? Powell, Mathews and DiMaggio.
So the low end on there is Powell, who finished with a paltry 339 home runs and a 134 OPS+ over a 17-year career. The high end is inner-circle Hall of Famers.
Yes, you trade two prospects, even two great ones, for that guy. And you worry about building around him. Stanton by himself won’t lead the Mets to contention. Neither would Wheeler and d’Arnaud, even if they max out, by themselves.
Build around Stanton, David Wright and Matt Harvey. In Stanton, the Mets would have one more sure thing, and one who is just 23 years old.
This is not a difficult question. And the Marlins might get more from another team, one who can match Wheeler/d’Arnaud at the top of a deal, and fill in with more talent that is closer to major league ready than the rest of the Mets farm system currently is.
So sure, the Mets would do this. And who knows, maybe the Marlins would, too.
The Mets have plenty of difficult questions, such as who the fourth starter is, or the right fielder, or how much longer to give LaTroy Hawkins. Whether they’d trade virtually anyone for Stanton isn’t one of these worries. So don’t spend too much time worrying about whether the Mets should. The Mets certainly aren’t.