The New York Mets aren’t going to be very good in 2013. That seems to be both understood and accepted. They just traded their best pitcher, their Cy Young award winner for two very significant pieces of the next good Mets team. The next good Mets team will not take the field for a few more years.

Despite the yearnings of their ownership group, the Mets must continue playing baseball games until that time that they can be competitive again. In order for the Mets to properly develop their newfound pitching riches while ensuring the integrity of the game, they must field an entire team of players behind their valuable young arms. They must dress 25 players each night and they must play 162 games in 2013.

For a team, like the New York Metropolitans, without a real center fielder, this represents a challenge. Center field is important, even if the games themselves are not (at all.) The Mets took a baby step to address this vacancy as well as ensuring a strong draft pick in the 2014 draft today when they acquired Collin Cowgill from the Oakland A’s in exchange for a minor league infielder.

The only time Collin Cowgill is ever mentioned on Getting Blanked is when somebody trades him. Cowgill was a piece in the Trevor Cahill trade and spent most of 2012 in the minor leagues, posting modest numbers in the PCL. In a 16 plate appearance cameo with the playoff-bound Athletics, Cowgill was a below average hitter who split time between left and centerfield.

It is that flexibility which surely attracted the Mets. Cowgill has some strong seasons in the minor leagues but he also provides a decent example of why age is important in a prospect/minor leaguer. Posting a .431 wOBA in the PCL is cool and all, but at 25 years old that fancy stat line starts to lose some of its lustre.

Cowgill joins Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda in what just might be the Mets Opening Day outfield. Considering all three players make the minimum, the Mets aren’t doing half bad as far as complete rebuilds go. That said: man, Travis d’Arnaud better be good. Matt Harvey or otherwise, it is going to be a long season in Flushing. Loooong season indeed.