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: 37-53, 4th in the National League East
Ah the Mets, pour one out for all of the dead hopes and dreams that were born in the first few weeks of the season. May they live on in Valhalla.
The Mets’ season has become such a tragedy, it can’t help but remind me of this King Lear quote, “A horse, a horse, Jacob deGrom for a horse,” or something like that. Expect the trade deadline to read like the end of a Shakespearean drama as well: everyone is gone, save for one confused character who is now tasked with cleaning everything up.
What moves have they made so far?
During the winter it looked like the Mets were really going to go pedal to the metal, bringing back Jay Bruce and adding some veteran power in Adrian Gonzalez. Let’s all laugh at how naive we were in our youth.
While I’d love to write here, “The Mets dealt Jose Reyes for three bags of puffy Cheetos and a chocolate milk,” I can’t because life is cruel. They signed him as a free agent and have yet to let go, for whatever reason. Aside from this clear and ongoing lapse in judgement, New York continued making moves to prove that there’s still a pulse.
In the very beginning of this year, the Mets traded lefty Josh Smoker to the Pittsburgh Pirates for fellow southpaw pitcher Daniel Zamora and cash. The current Tim Tebow teammate is sporting a 3.72 ERA and 50 strikeouts over 36.1 innings which honestly could qualify him to be called up tomorrow. After optioning him, New York parted ways with third baseman Matt Reynolds, sending him to Washington for cash, which I’m sure did wonders for his self esteem.
And then they signed Fernando Abad to a minor league contract. And then traded L.J. Mazzilli to the Yankees for outfielder Kendal Coleman. Are you seeing the pattern here yet? Every single move is small and inconsequential and for all intents and purposes—safe. That is something went catastrophically wrong the way things in Queens tend too, there wouldn’t be repercussions that reverberated too loudly.
Their only, “Oh snap, really?” move came in May, when the Dark Knight Matt Harvey rose his way on over to Cincinnati for catcher Devin Mesoraco. Even then, it felt more like a mercy killing than an actual baseball transaction.
What new moves could they make?
While not so much in run support, the Mets are fairly rich in trade chips. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jeurys Familia are some of the most blatant choices for teams in contention. Both are having decent years and will hit the free agent market this winter, making them. And then there’s the mack daddy of them all...
Phillies, Braves, and Angels—oh my! It feels like half the league is chasing deGrom, even without his luscious flow. Obvious contenders have arose as well: the Dodgers are in the mix as well as the Yankees. They could also be the most tantalizing for the Mets when it comes to prospect packages. But in both cases, the Dodgers and Yankees will ultimately be forced to overpay
deGrom is under team control for an another two seasons, so if the Mets decide to hang onto him and deal Wheeler instead, the latter of which has just received interest by—you guess it—
Brian Cashman—the Yankees. A Wheeler for Drury deal could be the works while you read this. The 28-year old is rocking a 3.20 ERA in his past seven starts and is showing a real uptick in his performances on the mound since Opening Day. He’s under team control through 2019 but will hit the arbitration circus at the end of this season. Could he be in pinstripes when he goes to his hearings?
Think of it now as a sitcom where you’re just starting to like a new character each week and then—boom—they’ve been written off the show somehow. Welcome to late July on the Mets.
How you were just getting to enjoy Seth Lugo? He’s gone now too, byeeee. The Mariners area a realistic landing spot, now that they’re charging towards the postseason and could stand to add bullpen depth. He also wouldn’t be a free agent for another four years, adding additional value to both the Mariners and what kind of return the Mets will receive.
With Noah Syndergaard finally healthy again (well, as healthy as someone on the Mets can be), the right package would not be save when it comes to the chopping block. Before taking his leave of absence, Sandy Alderson stated that given the right prospects, he could very well be dealt at the deadline.
The aforementioned Mesoraco is holding up his end of the trade swimmingly, which means he’s prime trade bait. But for who? The Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez has just undergone surgery for his finger, giving him a time table of 6-8 weeks until he’ll back behind the plate. There aren’t a lot of decent catching options out there, so Mesoraco and J.T. Realmuto seem like the main targets for Boston. If the Red Sox do set their phasers to the 30-year old, the Mets could really leverage the situation and get a decent pitcher prospect. Plus, he’s a free agent at the end of the season and could very well end up back in a Mets uniform, somewhat dependent on Vasquez’s rehab.
Aside from the quite obvious pitching destitution, the Mets need an athletic second baseman who also isn’t Jose Reyes. If they make the move to deal Cabrera to a loving suitor, they’ll need to move fast on replacing him. Yes, I’m going to keep pretending like Reyes doesn’t exist, thanks. One candidate would be Pirates’ Josh Harrison, although it’s unclear what Pittsburg would ask for the veteran.
Starlin Castro could also fit the bill, seeing as if you’re not cemented into the stadium you’re up for grabs in Miami. However, the Mets have a very thin farm system as of late, power hitters in particular, and Mr. Jeter may drive a much harder bargain thus, no dice.
The Mets DL reads like a receipt from CVS: insanely long for no apparent reason an bogged down with coupons for aspirin and shampoo that you know you’re damn never going to use but it’s a nice little courtesy to have anyway. T.J. Rivera coming off of Tommy John is a wild card situation and Juan Lagares can’t seem to keep any part of him healthy. It feels like they’re hemorrhaging players because the front office has separation issues. Well, with everyone except Matt Harvey.
Citi Field will be reduced to rubble and ash come October. Brandon Nimmo stands alone, amongst the destruction. In the distance—sirens.
Okay, okay. Let’s be realistic for a second, which in Mets Land seems rare. I think the Mets would sooner deal Wheeler and Thor, retaining deGrom for seasons to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if a chunk of their rotation was shed in an effort to keep him aboard, even if it means parting ways with two other huge franchise pieces to replenish the farm and add to more hitting depth.
The Mets are in a tough position to be sure. They have a rotation that is loaded with young talent, but they cannot seem to stay healthy and the lineup perennially underachieves. While some will continue want to bet on things finally turning around and all of the Mets’ promise will turn into results, it seems far more likely that the Mets will at least begin the process of moving towards some kind of a rebuild. They could jump start that process by dealing one of Syndergaard or deGrom, but such a move may be more likely this coming offseason than at the trade deadline, especially with the general manager position currently in flux.