The Mets and Cubs seem like a trade match made in heaven these days, with New York having a surplus of young starting pitching and Chicago having plenty of promising infielders who may be available for trade.
As both teams move toward contention in the near future, Cubs' general manager Jed Hoyer believes that the sides will eventually match up on a deal (via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times).
"We haven’t made a deal yet, but there’s been matches that made sense, and I’m sure we’ll talk to them in the future," said Hoyer, who has a relationship with Mets player-development executive Paul DePodesta going back to their time together in the Padres’ front office.
Cubs president Theo Epstein and Mets GM Sandy Alderson also have a good relationship.
"I guess when you factor in the hitting and the pitching, I guess people think it’s unusual," Hoyer said of the fact the teams haven’t hooked up on a trade.
"But it’ll happen at some point."
Though both teams have winning records at the moment, it remains to be seen if they will still be in contention later in the summer when the trade market heats up and players become available. A trade may be more likely over the winter, when the sides have more time to carefully piece together a deal as part of a larger, more long-term roster makeover.
The Mets have a young core of starters led by Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard (who will make his debut against the Cubs tonight), Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero, though injuries to Wheeler and Montero have them relying on veterans Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon to anchor their rotation this season.
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Harvey and deGrom are likely considered untouchable and Wheeler's value is low due to his injury, but the team has expressed an increased willingness to potentially deal Syndergaard and could look to capitalize on his performance in the major leagues if he pitches well in his first stint. Wittenmyer reports that the Cubs had interest in Syndergaard last season when he was with Triple-A Las Vegas, though a deal never materialized.
Chicago has been rejuvenated by the promotions of young stars Addison Russell and Kris Bryant so far this season, but still has top prospects Javier Baez and Gleyber Torres as options in the minor leagues behind starting shortstop Starlin Castro.
The team must eventually decide on two of those four players as their middle infielders of the future, and could look to move Castro if they feel that Russell is better suited to be a shortstop at the major-league level. The Mets have struggled for consistent shortstop play for years, but will likely have to make a play for a proven solution at the spot if they are serious about being contenders in the NL East.
Though nothing seems close to coming to fruition at this point, Hoyer's comments about the teams eventually matching up paired with the clubs' promising starts mean that a deal could come in the next few months.