The New York Mets somehow turned Steven Matz into a top-10 prospect in their system by acquiring Khalil Lee in a three-team trade with the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. In exchange for Lee, the Mets sent Josh Winckowski and a PTBNL to Kansas City.
Andrew Benintendi was the big piece in this trade and is also joining the Royals. Franchy Cordero and two PTBNL are heading to the Boston Red Sox. To make room on the 40-man roster, Ali Sanchez joined Corey Oswalt as the latest Mets to get DFA’d over the last 24 hours.
An optimist's look at this trade for all the teams:
Royals: Benintendi was a 5-win player two years ago and is only 26.
Mets: Lee is a near-ML-ready OF and is just 22.
Red Sox: Franchy is toolsy as hell, and the three PTBNLs will add to a shallow farm system that needs depth.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) February 11, 2021
Winckowski was in the top-30 of the Mets prospect list and part of the trio of players acquired for Matz. The Mets originally received three players for a pitcher with a 10 ERA and turned one of those players into a top-10 prospect. Lee was desperately needed because Pete Crow-Armstrong was the Mets’ only outfielder in their top-10 group of prospects.
What To Know About Lee?
Lee is a 22-year old, speedy center fielder who is expected to make his MLB debut during 2021, if not 2022. His top-tier power/speed potential earns him seven spot in the Mets prospect rankings. In the minors, Lee has separate seasons of 17 home runs and stole 53 bases. His career average in the minors is .256, but his .366 on-base shows a great ability to work counts.
High strikeout rates come with his walk rate, as Lee has struck out over 150 times twice. Lee has the tools to become the Mets future center fielder but still needs to refine his game. In the Puerto Rican Winter League, Lee went 9-for-46, but five of his hits were for extra bases. He projects as a fourth outfielder, but his best-case scenario is blossoming into a five-tool center fielder.