The Mets front office has done a great job amassing talent in its minor league system. The Number 6 ranking is a testament to the skill with which Sandy Alderson and the scouting staff have upgraded what was once an empty shelf. Of course, none of that minor league talent matters if the players don't produce at the Major League level. The clearest depth the Mets have is their pitching, both at the Major League level and in the minors. There is simply no way all of the supposed phenoms will be able to pitch for the big league club. So before they all outgrow their shiny "hot prospect" label, let's put together a trade for the one commodity every team wants and needs and that the Mets in particular sorely lack: power.
Giancarlo Stanton is going to be traded by the Florida Marlins. They can't pay him the contract he is looking for - reportedly close to the eight year $135M Freddie Freeman just got from the Braves. They want Major League ready talent, presumably to pitch on the days Jose Fernandez doesn't. The Mets have that talent and should be willing to part with it to acquire one of the game's premier power hitters. Noah Syndergaard is out of the question. Zack Wheeler might not be, depending on what else the Marlins want. Montero, Mejia, Familia, Leathersich, Mazzoni, Matz, de Grom. Any one of them, plus Wheeler, and it's a deal. If they want two of the prospects, then either Gee or Niese, but not Wheeler. If they want a power prospect in return, Caesar Puello has been tearing it up at AAA, (Biogenesis notwithstanding) and if they insist on him, then we get to pick the second minor league pitcher, whether the deal includes Wheeler or not. If Alderson is true to form, he also plucks a low A ball prospect from the Marlins, who compliments the current depth of the Mets minor league system.
Both sides would benefit: the Marlins would get two, potentially three Major League pitchers, controllable for at least another four or five years (depending on whom they select) and the Mets would get the power hitter they so desperately need. The money shouldn't be that big an issue for the Mets - Chris Young's $7.5M comes off the books next year, meaning Stanton would only cost $10M in additional salary. If Alderson wants fans back in the seats, he has to make the investment in top quality players that will result in winning baseball.
2015 could be a spectacular year for the Mets. The return of Matt Harvey. Noah Syndergaard with a solid foundation of Major League experience under his belt. At least two other young starting pitchers (two of either Gee, Niese and Wheeler) and Bartolo Colon. A lineup that would have Murphy, Wright, Stanton and Granderson batting 2 through 5. The ability to upgrade their holes at first and short through free agency.
With the realization that 2014 hasn't even begun yet, it's never too early to start thinking about next year - and least if you're a Mets fan.