It might not end up looking as dramatically lopsided as the trade that sent Cubs shortstop Javier Baez to Queens in exchange for top prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong last summer, but the early returns on the Mychal Givens trade isn’t looking too good for the Mets right now.
Givens, a veteran who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with Chicago prior to the season, was, by and large, a reliable presence in David Ross’ bullpen throughout the first half of the year. At the time of the trade that sent him to New York, the right-hander carried a 2.66 ERA across 40 appearances and was riding a pretty insane scoreless inning streak, to boot.
Sure, his 3.83 FIP suggested he was unlikely to keep runs off the board quite that effectively moving forward, but no one could have predicted the unmitigated disaster he’s become since joining the Mets.
Needless to say, that’s not exactly the stabilizing presence New York was hoping for when it sent Saul Gonzalez to the Cubs last month in a bid to shore up its bullpen. Now, Gonzalez hasn’t exactly been great since joining his new organization, either, but he’s also a former 23rd round pick and A-ball pitcher figuring things out, not a veteran who’s supposed to help a first-place team make a deep postseason run.
Cubs seemingly dump another veteran reliever at the perfect time
For the second time in as many seasons, Jed Hoyer turned over his bullpen, flipping key veteran arms, including Givens and closer David Robertson, who returned to the Phillies – a team looking to cause trouble in that very same National League East. For the rest of the year, it’ll be a carousel of young arms looking to make strong impressions heading into camp next spring.
I’m sure none of us have forgotten how bad Craig Kimbrel was on the South Side after the Cubs traded him for Codi Heuer and Nick Madrigal last July – but if this keeps up in the Big Apple, Givens might even manage to eclipse what the future Hall of Famer did in his brief Sox tenure.
Maybe it’s petty. But the Mets went the middle-of-the-road route this time around, opting to not go after a big-time package that likely could’ve brought Robertson and either Willson Contreras or Ian Happ into the fold. They weren’t ready to take the big swing and go for it – and now, they’re paying a steep price in the form of Given’s woes.