Chris Owings to the Mets for Noah Syndergaard might be a good trade for both teams. Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
This post is not only directed toward fans of the Arizona Diamondbacks but also to all of my friends who happen to root for the New York Mets. The Amazins are in the market for a shortstop and were rumored to have been interested in Troy Tulowitzki. Instead of giving up players and paying all of that salary, I have a solution for them. The D-Backs have a glut of players at the position and can provide New York with a Major League ready player at short. All it will take for the Mets is to give up a certain top pitching prospect and they could have a guy they can plug into the top of the order and play solid defense.
I believe Owings could be dealt because his competition for the job in Arizona is Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed, who were both acquired by D-Backs’ GM Kevin Towers last offseason. Owings was a first round draft pick in 2009, before Towers came into the organization and I believe he is the best shortstop of the three. He has a much better bat than Ahmed and Gregorius and while he may not be as good defensively, there is not the same level of drop off in the field as there is with the bat. This is only my opinion, but Towers wants to build the organization around the guys he brings in, with noticeable exceptions such as Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin. It is why I think Owings could be had for the right price. He was the Pacific Coast League MVP as well as its Rookie of the Year. In 546 at-bats, Owings hit 12 home runs and drove in 81 with a slash line of .330/.359/.482. He even stole 20 bases. The right-handed hitting Owings spent just about the entire month of September receiving a total of 55 at-bats with a line of .291/.361/.382 and 5 RBI’s with six multi-hit games. Clearly, Owings is ready to be a starting shortstop in the Major Leagues.
If the Mets want him, the price should be Syndergaard, the team’s #1 prospect and #12 in all of baseball according to mlb.com. He came over from the Toronto Blue Jays in the R.A. Dickey trade and split 2013 between High Class A St. Lucie and Double A Binghamton. At 6 foot 6 and 240 pounds, Syndergaard is an imposing figure on the mound backed up by a 96-plus fastball and power curve. He finished last season with a 9-4 record between the two levels with a 3.06 ERA in 23 starts covering 117 2/3 innings. His most impressive numbers are the 133 strikeouts compared to only 28 walks. Syndergaard has the makings of a frontline starters and would pair nicely in Arizona with another power arm, Archie Bradley.
Mets fans would be understandably reluctant to part with Syndergaard, particularly with Matt Harvey sidelined for all of 2014 because of Tommy John surgery. As a D-Back wiriter and fan, I would be hesitant to trade Owings. However, like the D-backs at shortstop, the Mets have the pitching prospects to spare to make a deal and fill a hole. Syndergaard has never pitched above Double A while Owings is ready to be an everyday player. It sounds like it could be a win-win for both teams.