With the MLB Winter Meetings heating up the hot stove to scorching hot levels, the rumors are flying left and right. After the New York Mets signed Yoenis Cespedes a few days ago, some of those rumors began to come up surrounding two of the Mets’ outfielders: Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson.
One team that has a need in the outfield is the Baltimore Orioles. So as you may have expected, the O’s have had their name linked to the two Met outfielders. And it just so happens a match between the clubs could work out. The primary desire of the Mets, bullpen help. It just so happens that is one of the strengths of the Orioles, and the Mets have their eyes on one man in particular: Brad Brach.
As mentioned this morning, Mets interested in Brad Brach of the Orioles.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 5, 2016
Brach, a New Jersey native who attended Monmouth University, is coming off a career year that resulted in an All Star Game nod. The soon to be 31 year old arm threw to a 2.05 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over the course of 79 innings as he struck out 92 men in 2016. He has two years of team control left, and he is in the arbitration process, with his current salary extremely team friendly. So it is clear to see why he would be an appealing option for a team looking to add some pen depth.
Now it is not likely that one of Bruce or Granderson would be enough to pry the All Star away from Baltimore. If the Mets were willing to move Michael Conforto for him, it would be a different story, but that is not a very likely scenario. One interesting possibility would be the inclusion of catcher Travis D’Arnaud in a potential deal. The Mets are keeping their eyes out for possible upgrades behind the dish because of D’Arnaud’s injury history, signalling the team is not totally convinced he is their man going forward.
It just so happens the Orioles are also in need of a catcher on top of an outfielder. A deal of D’Arnaud and Granderson going to Baltimore could be the beginning of a potential blockbuster. Brach would then have to be joined by another player for such a deal to happen. But given the teams’ needs, such a base is certainly possible.
Brach would be a great fit for the Mets, and turning their outfield depth into a reliable arm like his would be a win. Brach’s career has been pointed upwards for a few years now, and he certainly has the stuff to close if need be. The club’s closer Jeurys Familia awaits his fate following reports of domestic assault earlier this winter, meaning the team may be without him for a stretch if he is handed a suspension. This is not something that should force the team to go chase a big name free agent as Familia has been one of the best regular season closers the last few years.
If the team turned to Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen, they would be dropping a boat load of money, and they would be locking them into the closers job. It is not a route that would make much sense for the team. They could turn to a trade target such as Wade Davis, but he would be a more costly option, both in terms of money and players.
So when all is said and done, Brach, or someone like him, just makes the most sense. Given the Orioles’ need in the outfield, this pairing simply begins to make even more sense. For a trade to come together, two teams need to match up in terms of having depth and needs at matching positions. And that is exactly what we have here.
Trade talks will surely heat up over the next few days. But only time will tell if the Mets can turn either Bruce or Granderson into Brach.