New York Mets Acquire Tyler Clippard, Juan Uribe, and Kelly Johnson
The New York Mets made a pair of trades yesterday to add to their bench and bullpen depth. When you take the trades individually, they really don’t amount to much, but when you add the trades together you have to consider them to be contenders. First, they acquired Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson from the Atlanta Braves for John Gant and Robert Whalen. Then, they turned around and dealt Casey Meisner to the Athletics for Tyler Clippard.
What does it mean for the Mets?
When you have deals go down for guys like Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir, and Troy Tulowitzki, deals for Uribe, Johnson, and Clippard pale in comparison. However, these are the kinds of under the radar moves that end up making a significant difference. David Wright is on the shelf for the remainder of the season, so getting Uribe alone was a pretty significant move. In terms of fantasy value, we might see an uptick when Uribe finally gets regular playing time. He’s sporting a .744 OPS over the course of the season, but had a .817 OPS in Atlanta. If he can continue to produce on that level for the remainder of the season, he might be worth the deal by himself.
Johnson is a little more versatile than Uribe, but may end up sticking at second base for the remainder of the season if they find a taker from Daniel Murphy. He is sporting a .773 OPS on the season. The two in concert make for a pretty good pair of late season waiver wire possibilities in fantasy baseball and certainly extend the Mets lineup a little as well.
Meanwhile, Tyler Clippard likely won’t claim the 9th inning role in New York, so his value in fantasy terms is limited to those leagues which have holds as a category. For the Mets, it serves to make their bullpen a little deeper. Unfortunately, they may have bought high on Clippard. The peripherals show him to be a little less than the arm that excelled in Washington. However, his ERA and save numbers still look good. Billy Beane may have won another one. Clippard owners may want to see if they can unload him for anything useful around now.
What does it mean for the Athletics?
Casey Meisner was a third round pick in the 2013 draft. He is a combined 10-4 in low A and high A this season with a combined 2.35 ERA. Of course, minor league numbers don’t necessarily mean anything, but he has a strikeout to walk ratio approaching three to one this season. He has that rate if you include his 2013 and 2014 numbers. They get this arm for a guy they weren’t going to re-sign and someone they weren’t going to offer a qualifying contract to. Clippard was likely headed for regression, so they got out while the getting is good. They now have two A ball arms and an A ball catcher for Scott Kazmir and Tyler Clippard.
What does it mean for the Braves?
People on Wall Street often talk about dealing derivatives. They are smaller pieces of a company or corporation and the general idea is that you get more for the parts than you do for the whole. In this case, the Braves deal two parts and get two good arms in return. Mind you, they aren’t great arms, but they will add volume to the Braves farm system. Neither Uribe nor Johnson were long-term parts of the Braves future. There is no harm in dealing them and it serves to save a little cash in the meantime.
What do these deals mean for you?
Juan Uribe is worth a look if you are in search of third base help. He’s been a part time player this year, but since getting regular playing time in Atlanta he’s sporting an 800+ OPS. He might do the same in New York and if he does he is a starting quality third baseman in fantasy terms. Kelly Johnson might also be worth a look at second base. That is more than can be said for Tyler Clippard. Clippard will likely take over the 8th inning in New York and is due to regress towards mediocrity.
As for the closers role in Oakland, it is anyone’s best guess. That being said, considering that they are in sell mode it might not matter that much. Drew Pomeranz has been serving as the setup man, but Evan Scribner is another possibility. It might be worth watching a week or two to determine who will get the spot. I wouldn’t put it past them to use a committee approach for the remainder of the season.