Should the Mets explore a trade for Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon?

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Danny Abriano
·3 min read
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Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon jogging in from the outfield
Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon jogging in from the outfield

On the heels of the Colorado Rockies salary-dumping face of the franchise Nolan Arenado, which was followed by a news conference where team owner Dick Monfort struggled to defend the trade, it's fair to wonder just how many more players the Rockies might deal.

While the Rockies want to extend star shortstop Trevor Story before he hits free agency after this season (why Story would want to re-sign in Colorado right now is beyond comprehension), it's fair to believe that other higher-priced players could become available.

Coming off two-straight fourth place finishes and now without Arenado, Colorado has little shot of competing in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres looking like a pair of juggernauts.

Beyond Story, the Rockies' most productive player is Charlie Blackmon, who is signed through the 2021 season and has player options he can exercise in both 2022 and 2023.

If the 34-year-old Blackmon were to become available, should the Mets be interested?

Blackmon had a relatively down year in 2020, hitting .303/.356/.448. And it was only a down year because it came after his average OPS the previous four seasons was .934.

And even if Blackmon is something between the player he was from 2016 to 2019 and the player he was in 2020, he is still highly valuable.

His contract is not cheap -- he is set to earn $21 million in 2021 and will earn another $21 million in 2022 if he opts in. But that amount is arguably low for a player of Blackmon's caliber.

If Blackmon continues to perform well, it should be expected that he'll opt out of his deal before the 2023 season, since the option would pay him only $13 million.

In a world where Colorado makes Blackmon available, they would likely look for something of serious value in return because of the blowback they're getting after the Arenado trade and because Blackmon's salary is not prohibitive.

But is adding a player who is entering his age-34 season worth it when a team will have to part with something of value and take on a still significant salary? For the Mets, the answer is no.

If Blackmon was still able to play center field at an even average level, he would make sense for the Mets. But he hasn't played the position since 2018, when he was dreadful defensively.

Without being able to play center, the only options for Blackmon are one of the corner outfield spots, and the Mets are loaded there.

Michael Conforto is in right field and will be there long-term if the Mets agree to an extension with him -- which seems like one of their top priorities.

If there is a DH in 2021, Brandon Nimmo will likely be in left field. If there isn't a DH in 2021, Dominic Smith will be added to the left field mix and might start there, depending on whether the Mets address their hole in center field -- where Nimmo does not profile defensively.

In the event the Mets don't extend Conforto and the DH is in play in 2022, circling back to a potential deal for Blackmon (if he hasn't been traded by then) could make sense. But Blackmon simply does not fit with the Mets right now.