Well, look: I love this deal. My stance has long been, regarding Marlon Byrd and John Buck, that dealing them for any asset whatsoever made sense.
What they received, in Dilson Herrera, is more than just an asset. He’s an upside play at second base, a place the Mets have little organization talent, who played in the Futures Game last month, put up a .751 OPS in a tough hitting environment in the South Atlantic League, and is 19 years old. Given where the team is, he might be the smart Las Vegas play to bet on as the second baseman on the next good Mets team, rather than Daniel Murphy, already 27, or Wilmer Flores, who few believe can hold down the position defensively.
There’s also a player to be named later coming to the Mets. I’ll withhold judgement until I see who it is, but it’s hard to believe the second player is someone vital, precisely because of the upside of Herrera, acquired for a month of Byrd and Buck.
This deal would be a winner for the Mets if Herrera alone were the only prize. Their primary second basemen, by games played at Triple-A were Flores, non-prospect Brandon Hicks and… Jordany Valdespin. At Double-A, there’s Danny Muno, who few believe can hit MLB pitching well enough to play every day and Josh Rodriguez, a 28-year-old non-prospect. And at high-A St. Lucie, there’s T.J. Rivera, already 24, and Robbie Shields, 25 with a .605 OPS in A-ball.
So yes, it is fair to say Dilson Herrera is both the second base prospect with the most potential in the organization, and the one furthest along. It’s a great pickup. Here’s the incredible John Sickels on Herrera, from his 2013 prospect guide prior to the season: “He’s been a very impressive hitter so far, showing considerable power (especially for a player of his size)…he runs well, and should also be a stolen base threat as he moves up. Herrera’s glove at second base is rough, but he also has the athleticism to stick at the position…the Pirates might have a special player here.”
Now, the Mets might. And all it cost them was a pair of expiring assets.