As the trade deadline approaches, it is clear that the Mets are most likely going to be sellers after two straight years of being in the market for a big time bat. But, a question that still remains to be seen is how much the Mets will sell, a team with some young talent, as well as some veterans who are in line to be free agents at season’s end.
First, let’s take a look at their crowded outfield. Right now, the Mets have been going with Michael Conforto in center field, Yoenis Cespedes in left field, and Jay Bruce in right field, leaving Curtis Granderson as the odd man out. Granderson got off to a sluggish start, but turned it on towards the All Star break, which could help increase his trade stock. So, with the left handed bat being in a contract year, it would be best if the team traded him, as unfortunately there is not much of a place for Granderson on this team. He has given the Mets 4 great years, and has been their most healthy player over that span, but it’s time the 2 sides move on, as this outfield is crowded.
To branch off of this, arguably the Mets hottest commodity has to be Jay Bruce, who also will be a free agent at the end of the year. Bruce has been the Mets most consistent position player this year, leading the team in home runs and RBI’s. The Mets could get a decent package for him, but again he’d be a rental most likely to a team. So, it’s best for the Mets to keep him, and resign him this offseason, as he’s adapted to New York quite nicely after a slow start. The way the Mets personnel could look for next year, they don’t need to totally rebuild. This offseason, their first chore should be to retain Jay Bruce, and provide that veteran leadership the team needs, along with his dangerous bat.
Three other players the Mets should look to trade are Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis d’Arnaud, and Lucas Duda. First, let’s start with Cabrera. Cabrera had a nice season for the Mets in 2016, but he’s been inconsistent and injury prone in 2017. He has a third year option in his contract that I could see the Mets picking up if they fail to trade him, but the Mets have some young infielders who could be more productive than Cabrera at this point in his career. We still want this team to have some veterans for next year, but Asdrubal Cabrera has made it clear that he wouldn’t be too happy about moving around positions, but that shortstop position should be Amed Rosario’s the latest by 2018. So, if there’s a team like the Red Sox who have been rumored to have interest in Cabrera, the Mets should pull the trigger.
Then there’s Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud in my opinion is the most overrated Met. He struggles at the catcher position, and his bat is not the best. But, he is only 28, and has caught some big games in his MLB career. At times, he’s shown the ability to hit the long ball, but not consistently. These attributes should lead the Mets to trade him, and get something for him. He’s still under the Mets control after this season, but it has not worked out well for him in New York. Catcher is a position the Mets have been trying to fill since Mike Piazza left, and they have yet to find their guy. Travis d’Arnaud has been a major disappointment, but he still has some talent that could intrigue teams. If the Mets even get a half decent offer, they should let him go.
Now let’s discuss Lucas Duda. Duda is a free agent at the end of this year, and it seems he’s on his way out of New York. Duda has been a productive Met when he’s been healthy, providing them with some power in the middle of their lineup, notching 125 career home runs so far. It seems fans have a love/hate relationship with Duda, as he makes some great plays at first base, but then makes a pivotal error in a game. The one that pops into my head is his error in the 9th inning of game 5 of the World Series. Sorry to bring that up. But, he’s overall been a solid Met. However, it might be time for a change. Since the Mets seem to have a lot of confidence in their young first base prospect Dominic Smith, they likely will look to move Duda at the deadline. Duda could be very valuable to a team in a pennant race with his powerful bat, but his market could take a dip because he will likely be a rental. But, there has to be a team that’s all in this year, willing to give something up for Duda. If that offer, emerges, expect the Mets to make that move, as they don’t want to lose Duda for nothing.
The Mets have 3 infielders who have been rumored in trade talks as well, and that’s Neil Walker, TJ Rivera, and Wilmer Flores. Rivera and Flores are in similar situations, so first let’s talk about Walker. Walker will be a free agent after this season, but has been on the DL for quite some time this year. That being said, the Mets might have a shot to bring him back next year, if his market is not that high during free agency. He has been a really good Met, and he would be their starting second baseman next season. If Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera are gone after the season, the Mets still need a veteran in that infield. So, I expect them to hold onto Walker through the deadline, and maybe work on a 1 or 2 year deal.
As for TJ Rivera and Wilmer Flores, these are two younger players who have been rumored in trade talks. These two players could have higher value, as the Mets have control of Rivera, and Flores being arbitration eligible. This could lead to some intrigue, but I think the Mets should keep them. Both can start when they have to, and also do an excellent job off the bench. They also will play all positions in the infield. They’re both very underrated, and the Mets should have to get a really good deal from a team to get rid of them. It’s understandable why team’s would be so interested in them if they’re looking for a good, infield bat. But, I’d like to see these two be with the Mets for the near future. The team can’t go selling all their infielders, as again they should still have a competitive team in 2018. So, I’d suggest holding on to both Flores and Rivera, unless it’s a deal the Mets can’t pass up on. Fans want to see Amed Rosario playing shortstop. But, if the Mets trade al their infielders, who will he be playing the infield with?
Now, lastly let’s jump down to two pitchers who seem very popular on the trade market in closer Addison Reed and ace starting pitcher Jacob deGrom. I don’t want either of these players to get traded for many reasons. For Reed, he may be a free agent, but he has been the Mets best relief pitcher since they acquired him in 2015. He’s been a 7th inning guy, a setup man, and the closer, and has succeeded in all these roles. A lot of teams in need of relief could show interest in him, but the Mets also need bullpen help for next year. If they let him go, it will be Jeurys Familia and everybody else. The Mets bullpen is their weakest link. If they find it clear that Reed will sign elsewhere, then they should let him go. But, if they can, they should lock him up, and let him continue to lead a bullpen that needs a lot of help.
For Jacob deGrom, there’s only 3 players I’d like the Mets to acquire for him. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, or Clayton Kershaw. Is that going to happen? No. That tells you what I think about trading deGrom. deGrom has been the Mets ace and most consistent pitcher since his first season when he won rookie of the year in 2014. He’s a superstar, and on a tear right now. I beg the Mets to not let him go. I don’t want prospects for him that “might” be good. He is “really” good, and of all the Mets young pitchers, he may be the oldest, but he’s their best. The Mets should not even think about moving him, but instead let him lead this team in 2018.
All we can do though is watch. The Mets have a lot of players who could be very valuable to a contending team. But, they need to be smart and careful with their trades. The Mets had high expectations going into the 2017 season, and they have failed. But, I don’t want to see this team give up on their core yet. They should focus on getting healthy, and then they can find more success in 2018. I’m not a fan of seeing teams in the MLB blow it up, and I don’t want to see the Mets blow it up. They still have a lot of talent, and can make this thing work.
To sum it up, here’s who I think the Mets should trade:
Here’s who I think the Mets should NOT trade:
All contract information via spotrac.com.