As we approach July 31, we will preview what each team is projected to do in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. For a complete listing of our previews, click here.
New York Mets: 41-48, 3rd in NL East
What started as a season of promise has turned into a season of torment for the Metropolitans, whose injury report is as long as their drought since their last World Series title. Sandy Alderson thought he had a nucleus to end that drought, and came awfully close in 2015, but countless injuries have warranted a second guess. Is it time for the Mets to sell and rebuild once again?
After being demolished by the Dodgers, the Mets put together four straight wins yet still sit far behind in the division and Wild Card standings after a beating from Daniel Murphy (again) and the Nationals. Any future winning streak could cloud what really needs to be done in New York, but it seems like the Mets’ front office is coming around to what is best for the team’s future, and looks poised to shop their veterans.
What moves have they made so far?
Well, calling up Amed Rosario isn’t one of them, despite outcry from the Mets’ faithful. However, it’s a possibility that can happen after the All-Star break. Aside from a bunch of DL tinkering, the Mets haven’t done much yet. It’s a tough task for Alderson and Terry Collins, especially when they are still waiting to see their roster at full strength. It may be time to wonder if a full and healthy roster will ever happen with this group.
In one of their bigger moves of the season, the Mets did promote Tim Tebow and his .222 batting average to high-A St. Lucie. So there’s that.
Are they buyers or sellers?
The feeling around Flushing is that the team is gradually moving towards selling, which would be the smart choice in this instance. The Mets seemed fixated on sticking with what they had and possibly buying at the deadline for awhile, but reality is likely setting in that this unfortunately is not the year for the Mets, who were looking to reach the postseason for the third consecutive season.
Buster Olney reported on June 23 that the Mets were finally prepared to sell, and have plenty of veterans at their disposal who could be trade chips for contending teams, and there are a lot of them. The Mets could use this crowded playoff chase to their advantage and make their efforts more of a reboot than an all-out rebuild. After all, they have plenty of pieces to put together a contending team, if health isn’t an issue.
Who could they trade?
One player they could trade who definitely wouldn’t be brought to tears is Asdrubal Cabrera, who voiced his desire for a trade after the Mets shifted him to second base a couple weeks back. He could be on the move, but wouldn’t bring in the load that other veterans could be worth as the month draws to a close.
Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Addison Reed and Lucas Duda are all names that you can expect to hear rumblings about in the coming weeks. Plenty of teams could use a left-handed power bat like Duda to take over first base, especially the crosstown rival Yankees, if the two teams are willing to trade with one another. The market for Reed will certainly be active, since the Achilles heel of many contending teams is the bullpen. Bruce is having a solid season, and teams looking for added power in their lineup would likely part ways with a prospect or two to get him.
Reed will draw a lot of interest as a rental reliever, likely not costing clubs as much as other controllable options like Justin Wilson or Zach Britton. The Mets are unlikely to trade Jacob deGrom, though the offers they would likely get for him would be astronomical.
The Mets are not making the playoffs this year. They currently sit 13 games behind the first place Nationals, who were hit with a devastating injury of their own in the form of Trea Turner, but they have plenty of talent to cover that wound and keep their comfortable lead. With the competitive state of the NL West, the Wild Card is likely even less likely for the Mets.
The young arms that have carried so much promise since their arrival aren’t going anywhere. The Mets will await their return and hope they can stay healthy enough to be the dominant starting rotation that most expected them to be. Just about everyone else should be up for grabs at the deadline.
The three Mets featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated earlier in the year were Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia. All three of them are currently on the shelf, which basically sums up the Mets’ season so far. You can’t control the injury big when it hits, but you also have to adjust accordingly. It looks like the Mets are ready to do that. The sale is on.