The Marlins spent much of the season looking for ways to turn their surplus starting pitchers into some help at the plate, and that search could end this week as the Fish dished out Pablo Lopez to the twins as part of a four player swap that was broadcast Luis Arraez to Miami. Before that move, however, Mets third base prospect Brett Baty was one of the other names on Miami’s radar, and The New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins were willing to offer both Jesus Lazardo or Edward Cabrera in return.
Reports earlier this month indicated the Marlins had also spoken to the Mets about it Eduardo Escobarwhen New York seemed to have an agreement with Carlo Correa. Had the Correa contract gone through, an Escobar deal with the Marlins might have been more profitable, but the Mets naturally chose to stick with Escobar after the club experienced some issues with Correa’s physical condition. Heyman writes that the Marlins’ interest in Baty existed “both before and after that of the Mets.” Carlo Correa Deal fell through,” and it’s likely to be assumed that the Mets’ willingness to relocate Baty also waned in the wake of the Correa situation.
While there seems to be no financial limit to the Mets’ desire to improve their roster, Steve Cohen’s splashy dives into the free hand are related to the club’s desire to maintain its minor league depth. While New York traded some top young players during Cohen’s more than two years of ownership, the Mets were unwilling to completely purge the farm system for proven veterans. players like Baty, Francisco Alvarez, Markus Vientos, Ronnie Maurizioand prospects further from the majors have remained in the New York organization.
With Correa out of the picture and 34-year-old Escobar entering his final year of contract, Baty could again be the Amazin’s of the future third baseman or even be present when he starts to take on a bigger role in 2023. Baty admitted made his MLB debut last season and could potentially play on a platoon with Escobar this year or see some action in left field. As Baty recently told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, had Correa signed, he would have happily switched positions, saying, “I just want to be in the big leagues and help a team win.” Baty also said he feels “stronger than ever“Following thumb surgery that prematurely ended his 2022 season, and despite being fully healed as of November, Baty will head out early for spring training to make up for lost prep time.
With Baty looking like a key figure in the Mets’ future plans, it would have taken quite a trade move to get the team to change their mind about trading the third baseman… a move that resembles, say, a controllable and talented young man Pitcher like Luzardo or Cabrera. Such a trade might not be on the table after Arraez’s move, but it would have been an intriguing exchange of young talent, especially with the added wrinkle that the Mets and Marlins are division rivals. Either Luzardo or Cabrera would have added youth and long-term control to an experienced Mets rotation that currently has only one pitcher (Kodai Senga) banned beyond the 2024 season. Carlo Carrasco is entering the final year of his contract while Max Scherzer, Justin Verlanderand Jose Quintana are all guaranteed only through the 2024 campaign (although Verlander has an exercise option for 2025).
Of course, had the Marlins successfully landed Baty, their roster movements over the past few weeks would have been very different, and the Arraez trade is unlikely to happen. In this scenario, Baty will likely become the new daily third baseman while Jean Segura would have played second base rather than the hot corner. This would still have opened the door for Jazz Chisholm Jr. be moved to midfield as the Marlins see if the All-Star second baseman’s speed and arm can lead to success as an outfielder.